Though the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll across all of the United States, the coronavirus has disproportionately affected some groups of Americans more than others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the hospitalization rate for COVID-19 patients is four times as high for Black, Latino, and Native American people compared to their white counterparts.
The CDC reports that, according to its analysis of the coronavirus-associated hospitalization rate through the week of November 7, the “age-adjusted hospitalization rate for Hispanic or Latino persons was approximately 4.2 times that of non-Hispanic White persons.”
Additionally, the organization revealed that “age-adjusted hospitalization rates for non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons and non-Hispanic Black persons were approximately 4.1 and 3.9 times those of non-Hispanic White persons, respectively.”
A new study from researchers at Stanford University and Duke University published this week also found that more than half of patients who died while hospitalized from COVID-19 were Black or Hispanic, reports KNX.
The study looked at data for 7,868 patients who were treated at 88 hospitals across the country between January 17 and July 22, and found that 53% of inpatient deaths were Hispanic or Black patients. 33% of the patients were Hispanic, 25.5% were non-Hispanic Black, 35.2% were non-Hispanic white, and 6.3% were Asian.
Dr. Fatima Rodriguez, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford, said that “the COVID-19 pandemic has shown a spotlight on racial and ethnic disparities in health care that have been happening for years. Our study shows an over-representation of Black and Hispanic patients in terms of morbidity and mortality that needs to be addressed upstream before hospitalization.”
The Stanford and Duke study also found that Hispanic and Black patients were more likely to be uninsured, and were younger than non-Hispanic White and Asian patients.
This summer, data showed that Hispanics in Harris County, Texas, the largest county in the state and the third most populous county in the country, made up as much as 65% of the people requiring hospital care due to COVID-19. The Hispanic population of the county is only 44%. Additionally, 48% of the confirmed coronavirus deaths in Texas at the time were Hispanics, though Hispanic Texans make up 40 percent of the state’s population.
A similar phenomenon occurred in New York City during the height of the pandemic there this spring, reports an NIH study. The Bronx, where 56.4% of the population is Hispanic, had more coronavirus cases and deaths than Manhattan, which is predominantly white, despite that borough’s population being 13% higher than that of the Bronx.
Almost one in four Latinos in the country live below the poverty line, and 41.5 percent don’t have health insurance. Compared with white Americans, Hispanics have a higher mortality rate associated with diabetes (+51%) and hypertension (+8%), two factors that health experts believe lead to a higher mortality rate for COVID-19 patients, according to a May panel organized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and led by CDC doctors.
Financial factors compound the gravity of the situation. In April, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Joaquin Castro (D- TX) said "eighty-four percent of Hispanics in the United States don’t have jobs that allow them to stay home," reports NBC News.