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Household overcrowding and risk of SARS-CoV-2: analysis of the Virus Watch prospective community cohort study in England and Wales

Aldridge, R; Pineo, H; Fragaszy, E; Eyre, M; Kovar, J; Nguyen, V; Beale, S; ... Hayward, A; + view all (2021) Household overcrowding and risk of SARS-CoV-2: analysis of the Virus Watch prospective community cohort study in England and Wales. Wellcome Open Research , 6 , Article 347. 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17308.1. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Household overcrowding is associated with increased risk of infectious diseases across contexts and countries. Limited data exist linking household overcrowding and risk of COVID-19. We used data collected from the Virus Watch cohort to examine the association between overcrowded households and SARS-CoV-2. // Methods: The Virus Watch study is a household community cohort of acute respiratory infections in England and Wales. We calculated overcrowding using the measure of persons per room for each household. We considered two primary outcomes: PCR-confirmed positive SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests and laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We used mixed-effects logistic regression models that accounted for household structure to estimate the association between household overcrowding and SARS-CoV-2 infection. // Results: 26,367 participants were included in our analyses. The proportion of participants with a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR result was highest in the overcrowded group (9.0%; 99/1,100) and lowest in the under-occupied group (4.2%; 980/23,196). In a mixed-effects logistic regression model, we found strong evidence of an increased odds of a positive PCR SARS-CoV-2 antigen result (odds ratio 2.45; 95% CI:1.43–4.19; p-value=0.001) and increased odds of a positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody result in individuals living in overcrowded houses (3.32; 95% CI:1.54–7.15; p-value<0.001) compared with people living in under-occupied houses. // Conclusion: Public health interventions to prevent and stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 should consider the risk of infection for people living in overcrowded households and pay greater attention to reducing household transmission.

Type: Article
Title: Household overcrowding and risk of SARS-CoV-2: analysis of the Virus Watch prospective community cohort study in England and Wales
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17308.1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17308.1
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2021 Aldridge RW et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: COVID-19, Overcrowding, SARS-CoV-2
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics > Infectious Disease Informatics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10140796
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