Rishi Wadhera, MD, MPP, MPhil Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School Cardiologist,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

COVID-19: Which NYC Borough Has Highest Rate of Hospitalizations and Deaths?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Rishi Wadhera, MD, MPP, MPhil Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School Cardiologist,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Dr. Wadhera

Rishi WadheraMDMPPMPhil
Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School
Cardiologist,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: With more than a million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, there is growing concern that low-income communities and racial/ethnic minorities may be disproportionately shouldering the burden of the pandemic. New York City, which is comprised of 5 boroughs (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island) with unique demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, has emerged as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: This study found substantial differences in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths across the boroughs of New York City. The Bronx — the borough with the highest proportion of racial and ethnic minorities, the most persons living in poverty, and lowest levels of educational attainment — had higher rates of hospitalization and death related to COVID-19 than the four other boroughs.

In contrast, hospitalization and death rates were lowest in Manhattan, the most affluent borough, which is comprised of a predominately white population. The number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 persons was nearly two times greater in the Bronx than in Manhattan.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: This study demonstrates that substantial inequities in COVID-19 hospitalization and death rates have emerged along racial and socioeconomic lines in New York City amid the pandemic. These disparities may be related to population-level differences in underlying comorbid illnesses, occupational exposures, socioeconomic determinants and race-based structural inequities across the boroughs. Public health and policy strategies should focus on mitigating the spread of COVID-19, and associated adverse outcomes, among vulnerable populations.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Further studies are needed to examine whether the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 is being borne by lower income and minority communities in other regions of the US. 

Citation:

Wadhera RK, Wadhera P, Gaba P, et al. Variation in COVID-19 Hospitalizations and Deaths Across New York City Boroughs. JAMA. Published online April 29, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.7197

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May 12, 2020 @ 1:53 am

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