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Health Highlights: June 16, 2020

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Black Americans Much More Likely to Have Lost Loved Ones to COVID-19

Black Americans are much more likely than other Americans to say a relative or close friend has died of COVID-19, surveys reveal.

While 11% of black adults say someone close to them has died, the rates are 5% among Americans overall and 4% among whites, the Associated Press reported.

The racial differences are especially significant in some cities and states hit especially hard by the new coronavirus. In Louisiana, 16% of black adults say someone close to them has died, compared with 6% of white adults.

Blacks represent about 33% of the state's population but account for 53% of the state's nearly 3,000 COVID-19 deaths, state health department data show, the AP reported.

The surveys also showed that 14% of black adults in Atlanta say a family member or close friend has died of COVID-19, compared with 4% of white adults. The rates are 12% vs. 4% in Baltimore, 15% vs. 2% in Birmingham, Alabama, and 12% vs. 4% in Chicago.

In New York City, 26% of black adults say a family member or close friend has died from COVID-19, compared with 10% of white adults, according to the three COVID-19 impact surveys conducted between April and June by NORC at the University of Chicago for the Data Foundation.

Experts say reasons why black Americans have been particularly susceptible to COVID-19 include pre-existing conditions and limited access to health care, the AP reported.

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Posted: June 2020