The Coronavirus Epidemic Affects Black, Asian and Hispanic Americans Most

According to a new report by the Epic Health Research Network and the Kaiser Family Foundation, racial disparities exist at every stage of the coronovirus epidemic.

Why it matters: The more we learn about the inconsistent effect of coronovirus on people of color, the more obvious it becomes that it is much more of a health care problem.

big picture: Non-White Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with coronavirus, are more likely to suffer from serious illness, are more likely to be hospitalized because of the virus, and are more likely to die from it, the report found.

  • The study analyzed Epic’s electronic health record data for approximately 50 million patients in 21 states.

By numbers: Black and Hispanic coronavirus patients had more than twice the mortality rate for white patients, and were at least twice as likely to test positive, even though test rates did not differ much by race or ethnicity.

  • Large stocks of people of color were tested in an inpatient setting – a sign they were experiencing symptoms – and they were likely to be ill enough to require oxygen or ventilation when diagnosed.

Between the lines: According to the report, higher coronovirus infection rates in people of color “increase the risk of exposure to coronaviruses due to their work, living and transportation conditions.”

  • It notes that despite greater exposure to the virus, people of color do not receive testing at higher rates than white people and conclude that “people of color may face increased testing odds that That contribute to the delay in the trial until they are more serious. “
  • According to the report, high hospitalization and mortality rates for people of color have not been fully explained by individual socioeconomic factors or underlying health conditions. “This finding suggests that other factors, including racism and discrimination, are negatively affecting their health outcomes through additional amounts,” it concludes.

Bottom-line: The findings “The authors illustrate the importance of considering a wide array of factors both within and outside the health care system, and to address structural and systemic racism and discrimination as root causes as part of efforts to address health disparities” Addresses, “the author writes.


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