Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH Dr. Adolph & Margaret Berger Professor of Population Health Director, Division of Health & Behavior Director Center for Healthful Behavior Change Department of Population Health NYU Langone Health NYU School of Medicine

COVID-19: Black and Hispanic Patients May Not Be Inherently More Susceptible to Poor COVID-19 Outcomes than Whites

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH Dr. Adolph & Margaret Berger Professor of Population Health Director, Division of Health & Behavior Director Center for Healthful Behavior Change Department of Population Health NYU Langone Health NYU School of Medicine

Dr. Ogedegbe

Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH
Dr. Adolph & Margaret Berger Professor of Population Health
Director, Division of Health & Behavior
Director Center for Healthful Behavior Change
Department of Population Health
NYU Langone Health
NYU School of Medicine

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

Response: The background for the study is the disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Blacks and Hispanics compared to Whites in major cities across the country. We asked two questions: 1) are there racial/ethnic differences in COVID-19 outcomes (likelihood of testing positive, hospitalizations, severe illness, and deaths) among patients who receive care at NYU Langone Health? If there are differences, are they explained by comorbidity and neighborhood characteristics (poverty, educational status, employment, housing, proportion of Blacks and Hispanics in communities)?

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The main findings included the following:

  1. Black and Hispanic patients were more likely than White patients to test positive for COVID-19
  2. Once hospitalized, Black patients were less likely than White patients to have severe illness or die after adjusting for comorbid conditions and neighborhood socioeconomic status.
  3. Overall, the finding from our study demonstrate the racial and ethnic disparities in mortality and other COVID-19 outcomes cannot be explained by biology or comorbid conditions. Black and Hispanic populations are not inherently more susceptible to poor COVID-19 outcomes than Whites.

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

Response: Our findings support the assertion that existing structural determinants of health – including inequalities in housing, access to care, differential employment opportunities, and poverty – that remain pervasive in Black and Hispanic communities may explain the racial disparities in out-of-hospital deaths from COVID-19 infections.

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

Response: Future research should explore the direct impact of structural inequities on racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 related hospitalization, morbidity and mortality

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures?

Response: As the holidays approach, it is important for all Americans to be reminded that the pandemic is far from over. It is still raging across the United States, with thousands of new cases and hundreds of deaths daily. It is important that everyone continues to follow the guidelines of wearing a mask, hand washing and physical distancing. WEAR A MASK SAVE A LIFE.

No disclosures

Citation:

Ogedegbe G, Ravenell J, Adhikari S, et al. Assessment of Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Hospitalization and Mortality in Patients With COVID-19 in New York City. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(12):e2026881. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.26881

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