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This article is the author’s final published version in BMC research notes, Volume 15, Issue 1, April 2022, Pages 126.

The published version is available at Copyright © Varshney et al.


Objectives: Overcrowded housing is a sociodemographic variable associated with increased infection and mortality rates from communicable diseases. It is not well understood if this association exists for COVID-19. Our objective was hence to determine the association between household overcrowding and risk of mortality from COVID-19, and this was done by performing bivariable and multivariable analyses using COVID-19 data from cities in Los Angeles County.

Results: Bivariate regression revealed that overcrowded households were positively associated with COVID-19 deaths (standardized β = 0.863, p < 0.001). COVID-19 case totals, people aged 60+, and the number of overcrowded households met conditions for inclusion in the backwards stepwise linear regression model. Analysis revealed all independent variables were positively associated with mortality rates, primarily for individuals 60 + (standardized β1 = 0.375, p = 0.001), followed by overcrowded households (standardized β2 = 0.346, p = 0.014), and total COVID-19 cases (standardized β3 = 0.311, p < 0.001). Our findings highlight that residing in overcrowded households may be an important risk factor for COVID-19 mortality. Public health entities should consider this population when allocating resources for prevention and control of COVID-19 mortality and future disease outbreaks.

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