Differences in SARS-CoV-2 infections during the first and second wave of SARS-CoV-2 between six ethnic groups in Amsterdam, the Netherlands: A population-based longitudinal serological study

Elsevier, The Lancet Regional Health - Europe, Volume 13, February 2022
Coyer L., Boyd A., Schinkel J., Agyemang C., Galenkamp H., Koopman A.D.M. et al.

Background: Surveillance data in high-income countries have reported more frequent SARS-CoV-2 diagnoses in ethnic minority groups. We examined the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 and its determinants in six ethnic groups in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Methods: We analysed participants enrolled in the population-based HELIUS cohort, who were tested for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and answered COVID-19-related questions between June 24-October 9, 2020 (after the first wave) and November 23, 2020-March 31, 2021 (during the second wave). We modelled SARS-CoV-2 incidence from January 1, 2020-March 31, 2021 using Markov models adjusted for age and sex. We compared incidence between ethnic groups over time and identified determinants of incident infection within ethnic groups. Findings: 2,497 participants were tested after the first wave; 2,083 (83·4%) were tested during the second wave. Median age at first visit was 54 years (interquartile range=44–61); 56·6% were female. Compared to Dutch-origin participants (15·9%), cumulative SARS-CoV-2 incidence was higher in participants of South-Asian Surinamese (25·0%; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]=1·66; 95%CI=1·16–2·40), African Surinamese (28·9%, aHR=1·97; 95%CI=1·37–2·83), Turkish (37·0%; aHR=2·67; 95%CI=1·89–3·78), Moroccan (41·9%; aHR=3·13; 95%CI=2·22–4·42), and Ghanaian (64·6%; aHR=6·00; 95%CI=4·33–8·30) origin. Compared to those of Dutch origin, differences in incidence became wider during the second versus first wave for all ethnic minority groups (all p-values for interaction<0·05), except Ghanaians. Having household members with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection, larger household size, and low health literacy were common determinants of SARS-CoV-2 incidence across groups. Interpretation: SARS-CoV-2 incidence was higher in the largest ethnic minority groups of Amsterdam, particularly during the second wave. Prevention measures, including vaccination, should be encouraged in these groups. Funding: ZonMw, Public Health Service of Amsterdam, Dutch Heart Foundation, European Union, European Fund for the Integration of non-EU immigrants.