Econ Hum Biol 2021 Feb 17;41:100990. Epub 2021 Feb 17.
Department of Economics, MS 021, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02453, USA. Electronic address:
This paper studies BMI as a correlate of the early spatial distribution and intensity of Covid-19 across the districts of India and finds that conditional on a range of individual, household and regional characteristics, adult BMI significantly predicts the likelihood that the district is a hotspot, the natural log of the confirmed number of cases, the case fatality rate, and the propensity that the district is a red zone. Controlling for air-pollution, rainfall, temperature, demographic factors that measure population density, the proportion of the elderly, and health infrastructure including per capita health spending and the proportion of respiratory cases, does not diminish the predictive power of BMI in influencing the spatial incidence and spread of the virus. The association between adult BMI and measures of spatial outcomes is especially pronounced among educated populations in urban settings, and impervious to conditioning on differences in testing rates across states. Read More