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AHA: Blacks, Hispanics Make Up 53 Percent of COVID-19 Deaths

MONDAY, Nov. 23, 2020 -- Due to disproportionate representation, Black and Hispanic patients bear much of the burden of mortality and morbidity related to COVID-19, according to a study published online Nov. 17 in Circulation to coincide with the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2020, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 17.

Fatima Rodriguez, M.D., M.P.H., from Stanford University in California, and colleagues examined racial/ethnic differences in presentation and outcomes for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Data from the American Heart Association COVID-19 Cardiovascular Disease Registry were presented for the first 7,868 patients treated at 88 U.S. hospitals between Jan. 17 and July 22, 2020.

The researchers found that 33.0, 25.5, 6.3, and 35.2 percent of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, Asian, and non-Hispanic White, respectively. The highest prevalence of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes was seen in Black patients. In addition, the highest rates of mechanical ventilation (23.2 percent) and renal replacement therapy (6.6 percent) occurred among Black patients, and they had the lowest rates of remdesivir use (6.1 percent). Overall mortality was 18.4 percent; more than half (53 percent) of all deaths occurred in Black and Hispanic patients. Compared with non-Hispanic Whites, the adjusted odds ratios for mortality were 0.93 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.76 to 1.14), 0.90 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.73 to 1.11), and 1.31 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.96 to 1.80) for Black, Hispanic, and Asian patients, respectively. Results were similar for major adverse cardiovascular events.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown a spotlight on racial and ethnic disparities in health care that have been happening for years," Rodriguez said in a statement.

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Posted: November 2020

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