Although COVID-19 affects older people more severely, health policies during the first wave of the pandemic often prioritized younger individuals. We investigated whether age had influenced the access to a diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 infection and whether clinical complexity and healthcare resources availability could have impacted such differences. This work included 126,741 Italian participants in the EPICOVID19 web-based survey, who reported having had contacts with known/suspected COVID-19 cases (epidemiological criterion) and/or COVID-19-like signs/symptoms (clinical criterion) from February to June 2020. Data on sociodemographic, medical history and access to SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) were collected. Logistic regressions estimated the probability of accessing NPS as a function of age and the possible modifying effect of chronic diseases’ number and residential areas in such association. A total of 6136 (4.8%) participants had undergone an NPS. Older participants had lower NPS frequencies than the younger ones when reporting epidemiological (14.9% vs. 8.8%) or both epidemiological and clinical criteria (17.5% vs. 13.7%). After adjustment for potential confounders, including epidemiological and clinical criteria, the chance of NPS access decreased by 29% (OR=0.71, 95%CI:0.63–0.79) in older vs. younger individuals. Such disparity was accentuated in areas with greater healthcare resources. In conclusion, in the first wave of the pandemic, age may have affected the access to COVID-19 diagnostic testing, disadvantaging older people.

Accessibility to SARS-CoV-2 swab test during the Covid-19 pandemic : Did age make the difference? / C. Trevisan, C. Pedone, S. Maggi, M. Noale, M. Di Bari, A. Sojic, S. Molinaro, A. Giacomelli, F. Bianchi, M. Tavio, S. Rusconi, G. Pagani, M. Galli, F. Prinelli, F. Adorni, R. Antonelli Incalzi. - In: HEALTH POLICY. - ISSN 0168-8510. - 125:12(2021 Dec), pp. 1580-1586. [10.1016/j.healthpol.2021.10.002]

Accessibility to SARS-CoV-2 swab test during the Covid-19 pandemic : Did age make the difference?

A. Sojic;A. Giacomelli;S. Rusconi;G. Pagani;M. Galli;F. Prinelli;
2021-12

Abstract

Although COVID-19 affects older people more severely, health policies during the first wave of the pandemic often prioritized younger individuals. We investigated whether age had influenced the access to a diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 infection and whether clinical complexity and healthcare resources availability could have impacted such differences. This work included 126,741 Italian participants in the EPICOVID19 web-based survey, who reported having had contacts with known/suspected COVID-19 cases (epidemiological criterion) and/or COVID-19-like signs/symptoms (clinical criterion) from February to June 2020. Data on sociodemographic, medical history and access to SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) were collected. Logistic regressions estimated the probability of accessing NPS as a function of age and the possible modifying effect of chronic diseases’ number and residential areas in such association. A total of 6136 (4.8%) participants had undergone an NPS. Older participants had lower NPS frequencies than the younger ones when reporting epidemiological (14.9% vs. 8.8%) or both epidemiological and clinical criteria (17.5% vs. 13.7%). After adjustment for potential confounders, including epidemiological and clinical criteria, the chance of NPS access decreased by 29% (OR=0.71, 95%CI:0.63–0.79) in older vs. younger individuals. Such disparity was accentuated in areas with greater healthcare resources. In conclusion, in the first wave of the pandemic, age may have affected the access to COVID-19 diagnostic testing, disadvantaging older people.
ageism; COVID-19 diagnostic testing; health resources; multimorbidity; aged; COVID-19 testing; diagnostic tests, routine; humans; pandemics; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19
Settore MED/17 - Malattie Infettive
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/894016
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