TUESDAY, May 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Sociodemographic factors associated with the risk for a positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) test result include deprivation, population density, and ethnicity, according to a study published online May 15 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Simon de Lusignan, M.B.B.S., M.D., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed data for patients in a primary care sentinel network who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 between Jan. 28 and April 4, 2020. Of 3,802 SARS-CoV-2 test results, 587 were positive.

The researchers found that male sex was independently associated with testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.55) in a multivariable analysis. Compared with children, adults were at increased risk for testing positive for SARS-CoV-2; in the multivariable model, adults aged 40 to 64 years were at highest risk (aOR, 5.36 versus children). The adjusted odds of a positive test were increased in black versus white people (aOR, 4.75). The likelihood of testing positive was also increased for those living in urban versus rural areas (aOR, 4.59) and in the most versus the least deprived areas (aOR, 2.03). People with chronic kidney disease were more likely to test positive (aOR, 1.91), as were those with obesity versus normal weight (aOR, 1.41). Active smoking was associated with a reduced risk for a positive test result (aOR, 0.49).

“The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates existing socioeconomic inequalities, and this needs both exploration and mitigation in the coming months and years,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

One study author and one editorial author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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