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SARS-CoV-2 infections in migrants and the role of household overcrowding: a causal mediation analysis of Virus Watch data

Boukari, Yamina; Beale, Sarah; Nguyen, Vincent; Fong, Wing Lam Erica; Burns, Rachel; Yavlinsky, Alexei; Hoskins, Susan; ... Aldridge, Robert; + view all (2023) SARS-CoV-2 infections in migrants and the role of household overcrowding: a causal mediation analysis of Virus Watch data. Journal Epidemiology & Community Health 10.1136/jech-2022-220251. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Migrants are over-represented in SARS-CoV-2 infections globally; however, evidence is limited for migrants in England and Wales. Household overcrowding is a risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection, with migrants more likely to live in overcrowded households than UK-born individuals. We aimed to estimate the total effect of migration status on SARS-CoV-2 infection and to what extent household overcrowding mediated this effect. METHODS: We included a subcohort of individuals from the Virus Watch prospective cohort study during the second SARS-CoV-2 wave (1 September 2020-30 April 2021) who were aged ≥18 years, self-reported the number of rooms in their household and had no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection pre-September 2020. We estimated total, indirect and direct effects using Buis' logistic decomposition regression controlling for age, sex, ethnicity, clinical vulnerability, occupation, income and whether they lived with children. RESULTS: In total, 23 478 individuals were included. 9.07% (187/2062) of migrants had evidence of infection during the study period vs 6.27% (1342/21 416) of UK-born individuals. Migrants had 22% higher odds of infection during the second wave (total effect; OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.47). Household overcrowding accounted for approximately 36% (95% CI -4% to 77%) of these increased odds (indirect effect, OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.12; proportion accounted for: indirect effect on log odds scale/total effect on log odds scale=0.36). CONCLUSION: Migrants had higher odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the second wave compared with UK-born individuals and household overcrowding explained 36% of these increased odds. Policy interventions to reduce household overcrowding for migrants are needed as part of efforts to tackle health inequalities during the pandemic and beyond.

Type: Article
Title: SARS-CoV-2 infections in migrants and the role of household overcrowding: a causal mediation analysis of Virus Watch data
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2022-220251
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2022-220251
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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 of Epidemiology and 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 > UCL GOS Institute of Child 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 > Infectious Disease Informatics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10173806
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