CDC Reports Black Patients Suffering COVID-19 Disproportionately
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an update on the effects of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minority groups, with data suggesting an overrepresentation in hospitalization of black patients. This news arrived in tandem with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) releasing guidance requiring labs to report race, ethnicity, age and sex with COVID-19 test results.
While data continues to emerge, a recent CDC MMWR report including race and ethnicity data from 580 patients hospitalized with lab-confirmed COVID-19 showed that 33% were black, compared to 18% of the surrounding community; 8% were Hispanic/Latino, compared to 14% in the community; and 45% were white, compared to 59% of individuals in the community. According to the CDC, living conditions, work circumstances, a lack of paid sick leave, underlying health conditions and lower access to care and health insurance are among the social determinants of health influencing these disparities.
"History shows that severe illness and death rates tend to be higher for racial and ethnic minority groups during public health emergencies," the CDC notes. "Addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in emergencies includes improving day-to-day life and harnessing the strengths of these groups."
Keywords: COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, Pandemics, Public Health, Coronavirus, Social Determinants of Health, United States Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
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