Relationship between COVID-19 infection rate and mortality and social and environmental factors in Scotland, UK
Objectives: There is still a lack of research on the spatial analysis of COVID-19 in Scotland, the UK. This study examined the association between social and environmental factors such as gender, age, population density, ethnicity, income, temperature, and PM2.5 and COVID-19 prevalence and mortality in Scotland, 2020. Methods: This study used intermediate zones as analytical units and ordinary least squares (OLS) and spatial lag models (SLM) for spatial modelling. Results: In the current study, the SLM model results were generally better than the OLS model. In the total infection rate model, income deprivation, PM2.5 and total infection rate were positively correlated; population density, the percentage of the population aged 70 years and over was negatively correlated with total infection rate. In the gender infection rate model, income deprivation, PM2.5 and gender infection rate were positively correlated, and population density and gender infection rate were negatively correlated. In all mortality models, the infection rate, income deprivation, percentage of the population aged 70 years and over, and PM2.5 were positively associated with COVID-19 mortality. Conclusion: It was concluded that poverty, high levels of air pollution, a lower elderly population and lower population densities are associated with higher infection rates; whereas, high infection rates, poverty, the elderly population and the more contaminated the place will have a higher mortality rate. It is hoped that the government can advise the public to take precautions during periods of high air pollution and focus on economically disadvantaged groups.