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Elaine L. Hill, PhD│Health Policy and CHIBE Research Seminar

May 09, 2024

| 12:00 pm ‐ 1:00 pm | Hybrid
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  • Elaine Hill headshot
    Elaine L. Hill, PhD — Associate Professor of Health Economics, Economics, and Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Rochester


Blockley Hall
1104 Blockley Hall
423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Event Description

Attendees may attend virtually. Zoom link here.

“Dual Epidemics: Overdose Mortality During the First 3 Years of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Drug overdose deaths in the United States spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic to ~30% above pre-Pandemic levels. While we know that social isolation can amplify and reinforce OUD, it is unclear which components of SARS- CoV-2 mitigation efforts and resulting social, economic and healthcare disruptions differentially influenced communities with existing/at-risk of OUD. Additionally, we do not know if the impacts were concentrated in communities with a higher pre-pandemic rate of OUD and/or were disproportionately adversely affected by economic factors or COVID-19 cases/deaths. In this paper, using comprehensive restricted multiple cause of death data from before the pandemic through 2021, and quasi-experimental methods, we decompose these deaths and find that counties with high baseline overdose deaths saw a disproportionate increase in 2020 that becomes even more pronounced in 2021. We consider government shutdowns, unemployment, economic stimulus, vaccination rates, COVID-19 mortality rates, and other factors that may explain the increases. Understanding the mechanisms that explain the historic increases is important for policy responses to address this worsening crisis.

Elaine L. Hill, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Health Economics in the Departments of Public Health Sciences, of Economics, and of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Rochester. She is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and hold a courtesy appointment at Oregon State University. Her research is at the intersection of health, health policy, and the environment and human capital formation. 


CHIBE, Health Policy