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Socioeconomic Position and SARS-CoV-2 Infections: Seroepidemiological Findings from a German Nationwide Dynamic Cohort

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Jens Hoebel, Markus M. Grabka, Carsten Schröder, Sebastian Haller, Hannelore Neuhauser, Benjamin Wachtler, Lars Schaade, Stefan Liebig, Claudia Hövener, Sabine Zinn

In: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 76 (2022), S. 350–353


Background Evidence on the relationship between socioeconomic position (SEP) and infections with SARS-CoV-2 is still limited as most of the available studies are ecological in nature. This is the first German nationwide study to examine differences in the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infections according to SEP at the individual level.Methods The ‘CORONA-MONITORING bundesweit’ (RKI-SOEP) study is a seroepidemiological survey among a dynamic cohort of the German adult population (n=15 122; October 2020–February 2021). Dried blood samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and oral-nasal swabs for viral RNA. SEP was measured by education and income. Robust logistic regression was used to examine adjusted associations of SARS-CoV-2 infections with SEP.Results 288 participants were seropositive, PCR positive or self-reported a previous laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. The adjusted odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection were 1.87-fold (95% CI 1.06 to 3.29) higher among low-educated than highly educated adults. Evidence was weaker for income differences in infections (OR=1.65; 95% CI 0.89 to 3.05). Highly educated adults had lower odds of undetected infection.Conclusion The results indicate an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in low-educated groups. To promote health equity in the pandemic and beyond, social determinants should be addressed more in infection protection and pandemic planning.

Sabine Zinn

Vice Director SOEP and Division Head Survey Methodology and Management in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Carsten Schröder

Board of Directors SOEP and Division Head Applied Panel Analysis in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Markus M. Grabka

Board of Directors SOEP and Acting Division Head Knowledge Transfer in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department