Geographical and Temporal Analysis of Tweets Related to COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Disease in the US

Xuan Zhang, Lan Mu, Donglan Zhang, Yuping Mao, Lu Shi, Janani Rajbhandari-Thapa, Zhuo Chen, Yan Li, José A. Pagán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more than 600 million confirmed cases worldwide since December 2021. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is both a risk factor for COVID-19 mortality and a complication that many COVID-19 patients develop. This study uses Twitter data to identify the spatiotemporal patterns and correlation of related tweets with daily COVID-19 cases and deaths at the national, regional, and state levels. We collected tweets mentioning both COVID-19 and CVD-related words from February to July 2020 (Eastern Time) and geocoded the tweets to the state level using GIScience techniques. We further proposed and validated that the Twitter user registration state can be a feasible proxy of geotags. We applied geographical and temporal analysis to investigate where and when people talked about COVID-19 and CVD. Our results indicated that the trend of COVID-19 and CVD-related tweets is correlated to the trend of COVID-19, especially the daily deaths. These social media messages revealed widespread recognition of CVD’s important role in the COVID-19 pandemic, even before the medical community started to develop consensus and theory supports about CVD aspects of COVID-19. The second wave of the pandemic caused another rise in the related tweets but not as much as the first one, as tweet frequency increased from February to April, decreased till June, and bounced back in July. At the regional level, four regions (Northeast, Midwest, North, and West) had the same trend of related tweets compared to the country as a whole. However, only the Northeast region had a high correlation (0.8–0.9) between the tweet count, new cases, and new deaths. For the second wave of confirmed new cases, the major contributing regions, South and West, did not ripple as many related tweets as the first wave. Our understanding is that the early news attracted more attention and discussion all over the U.S. in the first wave, even though some regions were not impacted as much as the Northeast at that time. The study can be expanded to more geographic and temporal scales, and with more physical and socioeconomic variables, with better data acquisition in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-500
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of GIS
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022


  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • Twitter
  • cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • geotag proxy
  • spatial and temporal analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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