corona virus-Covid19

COVID-19: Disproportionate Burden of Multisystem Inflammatory Disorder Among Black and Hispanic New York Children Interview with:
Ellen H. Lee, MD

Incident Command System Surveillance and Epidemiology Section
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Long Island City, New York What is the background for this study?

Response: Published reports of the COVID-19-associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) have described higher proportions of cases among Black and Hispanic children. However, case series are limited by the lack of population-level data, which could help provide context for the racial/ethnic distribution of cases described in these reports.

The New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene required reporting of all possible cases of MIS-C among NYC residents, and for cases meeting MIS-C criteria, applied population denominators to calculate MIS-C incidence rates stratified by race/ethnicity. To help characterize the burden of severe COVID-19 disease in NYC, we also calculated COVID-19 hospitalization rates stratified by race/ethnicity. What are the main findings?

Response: Using these population-level data, we observed a disproportionate burden of MIS-C cases among Black and Hispanic children in NYC. We similarly observed a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 hospitalizations among Black and Hispanic children in NYC. We are not able to discern whether these observations reflect the overall burden of COVID-19 infections among Black and Hispanic communities, as race/ethnicity data are missing for more than half of the non-fatal, non-hospitalized cases of COVID-19 among NYC residents. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Although MIS-C is uncommon, clinicians should be aware of the potential disproportionate burden of this emerging syndrome among Black and Hispanic children. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Larger studies are needed to explore the relationship between MIS-C and race/ethnicity and elucidate the impact of structural racism in perpetuating health disparities. Improved reporting of race/ethnicity data for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 infection would facilitate these analyses.

No disclosures to report.


Lee EH, Kepler KL, Geevarughese A, et al. Race/Ethnicity Among Children With COVID-19–Associated Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(11):e2030280. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.30280


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Last Updated on November 30, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD