Primary and Secondary Health Impacts of COVID-19 among Minority Individuals in New York State

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 14;18(2):683. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18020683.


In addition to the direct health impacts of COVID-19, the pandemic disrupted economic, educational, healthcare, and social systems in the US. This cross-sectional study examined the primary and secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among low-income and minority groups in New York State using the social determinants of health framework. New Yorkers were recruited to complete a web-based survey through Qualtrics. The survey took place in May and June 2020 and asked respondents about COVID-19 health impacts, risk factors, and concerns. Chi-square analysis examined the health effects experienced by race and ethnicity, and significant results were analyzed in a series of logistic regression models. Results showed disparities in the primary and secondary impacts of COVID-19. The majority of differences were reported between Hispanic and white respondents. The largest differences, in terms of magnitude, were reported between other or multiracial respondents and white respondents. Given the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on minority populations, improved policies and programs to address impacts on lower-paying essential jobs and service positions could reduce exposure risks and improve safety for minority populations. Future research can identify the long-term health consequences of the pandemic on the social determinants of health among populations most at risk.

Keywords: COVID-19; health disparities; social determinants of health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / ethnology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups*
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Determinants of Health / ethnology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires