Thoughtful data analysis to help understand COVID-19 health risk in Illinois communities development by the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.

By Sage Kim, Associate Profession, Health Policy and Administration

To enhance understanding of community risk during the COVID-19 pandemic the University of Illinois School of Public Health, under my direction, created a health risk factor score using several comorbidities from Chicago Health Atlas data at the Chicago community area level (Chicago Health Atlas, 2020).

The health risk score included: the rates of heart-related death, stroke deaths, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and smoking (CDC COVID-19 Response Team, 2020). Similar to the social vulnerability index, we performed principal component analysis or PCA to create a risk score using the rates of these comorbidities.

About the Author

Sage Kim, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health. The School of Public Health is at the forefront of the response to COVID-19 in Chicago and the State of Illinois, with a particular focus on the needs of vulnerable populations during the pandemic. With a mission to strengthen health equity and social justice, the School’s focus ranges from local neighborhoods across Chicago to Illinois towns to communities around the globe. Learn more at