Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality and neighborhood characteristics in Chicago

Molly Scannell Bryan*, Jiehuan Sun, Jyotsna Jagai, Daniel E. Horton, Anastasia Montgomery, Robert Sargis, Maria Argos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality in Chicago during the spring of 2020 and identify at the census-tract level neighborhood characteristics that were associated with higher COVID-19 mortality rates. Methods: Using Poisson regression and regularized linear regression (elastic net), we evaluated the association between neighborhood characteristics and COVID-19 mortality rates in Chicago through July 22 (2514 deaths across 795 populated census tracts). Results: Black residents (31% of the population) accounted for 42% of COVID-19 deaths. Deaths among Hispanic/Latino residents occurred at a younger age (63 years, compared with 71 for white residents). Regarding residential setting, 52% of deaths among white residents occurred inside nursing homes, compared with 35% of deaths among black residents and 17% among Hispanic/Latino residents. Higher COVID-19 mortality was seen in neighborhoods with heightened barriers to social distancing and low health insurance coverage. Neighborhoods with a higher percentage of white and Asian residents had lower COVID-19 mortality. The associations differed by race, suggesting that neighborhood context may be most tightly linked to COVID-19 mortality among white residents. Conclusions: We describe communities that may benefit from supportive services and identify traits of communities that may benefit from targeted campaigns for prevention and testing to prevent future deaths from COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-54.e5
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Built environment
  • COVID-19
  • Health disparities
  • Prevention
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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