Sources and updates, April 30

  • Local COVID-19 resources from the People’s CDC: In advance of the federal public health emergency’s end, advocacy and communications organization the People’s CDC has compiled a list of COVID-19 resources for people still seeking to stay safe during the ongoing pandemic. The list includes testing and treatments, food support, mutual aid, advocacy organizations, and links to other People’s CDC resources.
  • Premature deaths during the pandemic: A new analysis from the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker examines the impact of COVID-19 on premature deaths, or deaths that occurred before the person reached age 75. This analysis included all excess deaths (so, not just those deaths officially reported as COVID-19, but also deaths from other diseases, drug overdoses, violence, etc.). All demographic groups experienced an increase in premature mortality during the pandemic, the researchers found, but deaths increased more for people of color than for white people. Hispanic and Native Americans had the highest impact, with premature all-cause mortality rising 33% betweeen 2019 and 2022.
  • Youth risk behaviors during COVID-19: This week, the CDC published a wealth of data and analysis from its 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, a regular survey examining health-related behaviors among U.S. high school students. The survey asks questions about gun violence, unstable housing, mental health, sexual behaviors, dietary behavior, drug use, and more. As this survey is conducted every two years, the 2021 iteration was the first to capture youth behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it included some questions specifically designed to look at COVID-19’s impacts.
  • Lessons from COVID-19 report: A new book, published this week, explores what went wrong (and right) from the U.S.’s COVID-19 response. 34 leading experts from a variety of backgrounds collaborated on the book; the group originally convened in anticipation of a 9/11 Commission-style inquiry into the federal government’s COVID-19 response, and continued to investigate what went wrong even though that commission did not actually come into being. For highlights from the book, see this Q&A between two of the authors and STAT’s Helen Branswell.
  • Long-term financial issues after COVID-19: A new paper, published this week in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, finds that a COVID-19 diagnosis may lead to financial challenges. Researchers at the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins studied this issue by linking healthcare records from a large Michigan-based insurance network with financial records from the credit company Experian. The study included over 132,000 Michigan residents. People who had COVID-19 were more likely to see their credit score drop following that infection, the researchers found; those who were hospitalized with severe symptoms had the highest risk of this financial impact.

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