MMWR News Synopsis
Friday, February 6, 2021
- Sexual Orientation Disparities in Risk Factors for Adverse COVID-19–Related Outcomes, by Race/Ethnicity — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2017–2019
- Decreases in Young Children Who Received Blood Lead Level Testing During COVID-19 — 34 Jurisdictions, January–May 2020
- Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Prevalence of Stress and Worry, Mental Health Conditions, and Increased Substance Use Among Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, April and May 2020
- Demographic Characteristics of Persons Vaccinated During the First Month of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program — United States, December 14, 2020–January 14, 2021 (Early Release February 1, 2021)
- Early COVID-19 First-Dose Vaccination Coverage Among Residents and Staff Members of Skilled Nursing Facilities Participating in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program — United States, December 2020–January 2021 (Early Release February 1, 2021)
- Vital Signs
Sexual Orientation Disparities in Risk Factors for Adverse COVID-19–Related Outcomes, by Race/Ethnicity — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2017–2019
CDC Media Relations
In the U.S., people who self-identify as sexual minorities such as lesbian, gay, and bisexual have higher rates of underlying health conditions associated with severe outcomes from COVID-19 than those who identify as heterosexual. Collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data in COVID-19 surveillance and other data collection systems could help identify disparities in infections and adverse COVID-19 outcomes among sexual minorities. People identifying as sexual minorities experience health disparities and have a high prevalence of multiple health conditions that are associated with severe outcomes from COVID-19. Among all racial/ethnic groups combined, sexual minorities had higher adjusted prevalences of asthma, cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, kidney disease, obesity, smoking, and stroke than did people identifying as heterosexual. Sexual minority adults who are members of racial/ethnic minority groups also have higher prevalences of several of these conditions than do heterosexual racial/ethnic minority adults. As such, they might face severe COVID-19 health issues when compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Therefore, collecting data on sexual orientation in COVID-19 surveillance systems and other systems would help provide a more equitable response to the pandemic by improving knowledge about disparities in infection and adverse COVID-19 outcomes.
Decreases in Young Children Who Received Blood Lead Level Testing During COVID-19 — 34 Jurisdictions, January–May 2020
CDC Media Relations
The number of children in the United States tested for elevated blood lead levels declined by nearly half a million, or about one-third, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With millions of children at risk for elevated blood lead levels, children who missed their screenings should be tested promptly to help prevent health problems and learning difficulties as a result of exposure to this toxic metal. Testing for elevated blood lead levels in children decreased 34% in January-May 2020 and by more than 50% during March-May 2020 when compared with the same period in 2019. The sharpest decrease (66%) occurred in April 2020, after the declaration of the COVID-19 national emergency in March 2020. Preliminary data indicate nearly half a million children in 34 U.S. jurisdictions missed their lead screenings in the first five months of 2020. CDC estimates that 9,603 children with elevated blood lead levels were not properly identified during this period, delaying any needed follow-up care to mitigate the health effects of lead exposure and reduce further exposure. The report highlights the need for healthcare providers and public health agencies to work with families to ensure that children are tested as soon as possible if they missed their scheduled blood lead test or required follow-up on a prior high blood lead level. Healthcare providers and public health agencies can communicate with families about how blood lead testing can be conducted safely during the pandemic and remind them of missed or recommended childhood blood lead tests.
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Prevalence of Stress and Worry, Mental Health Conditions, and Increased Substance Use Among Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, April and May 2020
CDC Media Relations
A new study of mental health conditions early in the COVID-19 pandemic finds that U.S. adults reported increased symptoms of depression; suicidal thoughts; stress and worry about the conditions where they live, learn, work, or play; and substance use or initiation during the COVID-19 pandemic in April and May 2020. In April and May 2020, surveys of U.S. adults were conducted to assess the prevalence of self-reported mental health concerns, substance use increases, and other factors that may affect health and well-being, such as stress and worry about social determinants of health (i.e., the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play). The Porter-Novelli View 360 nationwide Internet survey of U.S. adults was administered by ENGINE Insights to English-speaking adults aged 18 years and over. The survey found that 29% of U.S. adults reported symptoms of depression, 8% reported suicidal thoughts, and 18% reported initiating or increasing substance use to cope with COVID-19-related stress and worry. Hispanic/Latino adult respondents reported higher rates of depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts, and increased substance use than other racial/ethnic minority groups. A higher percentage of Hispanic/Latino adults also reported feeling stress or worry about not having enough food or not having stable housing compared with white adults during the pandemic. Addressing the psychosocial and health needs of U.S. adults during the COVID-19 pandemic is important and should include interventions tailored for racial and ethnic minority groups.
Demographic Characteristics of Persons Vaccinated During the First Month of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program — United States, December 14, 2020–January 14, 2021 (Early Release February 1, 2021)
CDC Media Relations
Early COVID-19 First-Dose Vaccination Coverage Among Residents and Staff Members of Skilled Nursing Facilities Participating in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program — United States, December 2020–January 2021 (Early Release February 1, 2021)
CDC Media Relations
- Prevalence of Multiple Forms of Violence and Increased Health Risk Behaviors and Conditions Among Youths — United States, 2019
Experiencing violence is too common among teens and is related to multiple health and safety risks. A survey of teens found that about half (44%) experienced at least one type of violence during the year before being surveyed. Violence experiences studied in this report include physical fighting, being threatened with a weapon, dating violence, sexual violence, and bullying. Violence can limit life opportunities, lead to emotional and physical health problems, and shorten lives. Far too commonly, teens 14 to 18 years old experience violence – often more than one type.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESexternal icon
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.