30 Nov COVID-19: Disproportionate Burden of Multisystem Inflammatory Disorder Among Black and Hispanic New York Children
MedicalResearch.com 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
MedicalResearch.com: 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.
MedicalResearch.com: 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.
MedicalResearch.com: 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.
MedicalResearch.com: 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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