An Integrated Risk and Epidemiological Model to Estimate Risk-Stratified COVID-19 Outcomes for Los Angeles County: March 1, 2020—March 1, 2021


The objective of this study was to use available data on the prevalence of COVID-19 risk factors in subpopulations and epidemic dynamics at the population level to estimate probabilities of severe illness and the case and infection fatality rates (CFR and IFR) stratified across subgroups representing all combinations of the risk factors age, comorbidities, obesity, and smoking status. We focus on the first year of the epidemic in Los Angeles County (LAC) (March 1, 2020–March 1, 2021), spanning three epidemic waves. A relative risk modeling approach was developed to estimate conditional effects from available marginal data. A dynamic stochastic epidemic model was developed to produce time-varying population estimates of epidemic parameters including the transmission and infection observation rate. The epidemic and risk models were integrated to produce estimates of subpopulation-stratified probabilities of disease progression and CFR and IFR for LAC. The probabilities of disease progression and CFR and IFR were found to vary as extensively between age groups as within age categories combined with the presence of absence of other risk factors, suggesting that it is inappropriate to summarize epidemiological parameters for age categories alone, let alone the entire population. The fine-grained subpopulation-stratified estimates of COVID-19 outcomes produced in this study are useful in understanding disparities in the effect of the epidemic on different groups in LAC, and can inform analyses of targeted subpopulation-level policy interventions.

Access the full research study at PLOS ONE.