Poverty and survival from COVID-19 in Mexico

Rebeca Olivia Millan-Guerrero, Ramiro Caballero-Hoyos, Joel Monarrez-Espino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recent evidence points to the relevance of poverty and inequality as factors affecting the spread and mortality of the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America. This study aimed to determine whether COVID-19 patients living in Mexican municipalities with high levels of poverty have a lower survival compared with those living in municipalities with low levels. Methods: Retrospective cohort study. Secondary data was used to define the exposure (multidimensional poverty level) and outcome (survival time) among patients diagnosed with COVID-19 between 27 February and 1 July 2020. Crude and adjusted hazard ratios (HR) from Cox regression were computed. Results: Nearly 250 000 COVID-19 patients were included. Mortality was 12.3% reaching 59.3% in patients with ≥1 comorbidities. Multivariate survival analyses revealed that individuals living in municipalities with extreme poverty had 9% higher risk of dying at any given time proportionally to those living in municipalities classified as not poor (HR 1.09; 95% CI 1.06-1.12). The survival gap widened with the follow-up time up to the third to fourth weeks after diagnosis. Conclusion: Evidence suggests that the poorest population groups have a lower survival from COVID-19. Thus, combating extreme poverty should be a central preventive strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-444
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Public Health (United Kingdom)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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