Background: Evidence regarding the risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the major adverse clinical outcomes of COVID-19 among people with disabilities (PwDs) is scarce. Objective: This study investigated the association of disability status with the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) test positivity and the risk of major adverse clinical outcomes among participants who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Methods: This study included all patients (n = 8070) who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and individuals without COVID-19 (n = 121,050) in South Korea from January 1 to May 30, 2020. The study variables included officially registered disability status from the government, SARS-CoV-2 test positivity, and major adverse clinical outcomes of COVID-19 (admission to the intensive care unit, invasive ventilation, or death). Results: The study participants included 129,120 individuals (including 7261 PwDs), of whom 8070 (6.3%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. After adjusting for potential confounding factors, PwDs had an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 test positivity compared with people without disabilities (odds ratio [OR]: 1.36, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.24–1.48). Among participants who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, PwDs were associated with an increased risk of major adverse clinical outcomes from COVID-19 compared to those without disabilities (OR: 1.43, 95% CI: 1.11–1.86). Conclusions: PwDs had an increased risk of COVID-19 and major adverse clinical outcomes of COVID-19 compared with people without disabilities. Given the higher vulnerability of PwDs to COVID-19, tailored policy and management to protect against the risk of COVID-19 are required.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (grant number: 2019R1A2C1003259 and 2020R1I1A1A01053104 ). The funders had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; or in the decision to submit the article for publication.
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health