Relationship of Social Vulnerability, Health Outcomes, and Funding

Dr. Peggy Honore, Professor, LSUHSC, along with co-authors Drs Fos and Kellum at Dillard University, conducted research to identify the relationship of the CDC & ATSDR’s Social Vulnerability Index with COVID-19, chronic diseases, and life expectancy.

Social Vulnerability Index values were obtained for counties

in Georgia, Louisiana (parishes), Michigan, and Mississippi. Current data on COVID-19, diabetes and obesity prevalence, premature age-adjusted death rates, and life expectancy were obtained from the County Health Ranking and Roadmaps. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated for the relationship of social vulnerability and health outcomes. The relationship of funding for public health and social services interventions that target the social determinants of health as a mechanism for reducing community vulnerabilities was also examined. Correlations were determined between social vulnerability and several health outcomes, both infectious and chronic diseases. Life expectancy was correlated with social vulnerability, overall and by race. Study findings found a positive correlation between social vulnerability and COVID-19 infections and mortality, premature age-adjusted mortality, and the prevalence of diabetes and obesity. There is a negative correlation between social vulnerability and life  Additionally, life expectancy was greater in non-Hispanic Whites compared to non-Hispanic Blacks.

The full article can be found at here