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Disparities Seen in COVID-19 Hospitalizations in Racial/Ethnic Subgroups

Percentage of hospitalizations among Black patients exceeded percent in the state population

THURSDAY, Aug. 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There are considerable disparities in the prevalence of COVID-19 across racial/ethnic subgroups in the United States, according to a research letter published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues calculated the proportion of cumulative hospitalizations by racial/ethnic categories in 12 states that reported the race/ethnicity of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 between April 30 and June 24, 2020.

The researchers found that the share of the hospitalizations of White patients was considerably smaller than their share of the state population in all 12 states. For example, the share of hospitalizations for White patients was 52.9 percent in Minnesota compared with 84.1 percent among the state population. In all 12 states, the percentage of hospitalizations among Black patients exceeded the percentage of their representative proportion of the state population. The greatest differences between the cumulative percentage of hospitalizations and state populations of Black individuals were seen in Ohio (31.8 versus 13.0 percent), Minnesota (24.9 versus 6.8 percent), Indiana (28.1 versus 9.8 percent), and Kansas (22.0 versus 6.1 percent). In 10 of 11 states reporting the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations for Hispanic individuals, the percentage of hospitalizations was higher than the proportion of the state population. For the Asian population, this pattern was largely reversed.

“The unique clinical, financial, and social implications of COVID-19 for racial/ethnic populations that are often systematically marginalized in society must be well understood to design and establish effective and equitable infrastructure solutions,” the authors write.

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