Social Inequities Explain Racial Gaps in Pandemic, Studies Find

https://www.nytimes.com/by/gina-kolata

“Higher rates of infection and mortality among Black and Hispanic Americans are explained by exposure on the job and at home, experts said.

“When Dr. Gbenga Ogedegbe began to research coronavirus infections among Black and Hispanic patients, he thought he knew what he would find. Infected Black and Hispanic patients would be more likely to be hospitalized, compared with white patients, and more likely to die.

“But that’s not how it turned out.

“Dr. Ogedegbe, the director of the division of health and behavior at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, and his colleagues reviewed the medical records of 11,547 patients in the N.Y.U. Langone Health system who were tested for coronavirus infection between March 1 and April 8.

“After accounting for various disparities, Dr. Ogedegbe found that infected Black and Hispanic patients were no more likely than white patients to be hospitalized. If hospitalized, “Black patients had a slightly lower risk of dying.

“We were surprised,” Dr. Ogedegbe said.

The study was published in the journal JAMA Network Open. Three other recent large studies have come to similarly surprising conclusions.

“The new findings do not contradict an enormous body of research showing that Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to be affected by the pandemic, compared with white people. The coronavirus is more prevalent in minority communities, and infections, illnesses and deaths have occurred in these groups in disproportionate numbers.

“But the new studies do suggest that there is no innate vulnerability to the virus among Black and Hispanic Americans, Dr. Ogedegbe and other experts said. Instead, these groups are more often exposed because of social and environmental factors…”

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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/09/health/coronavirus-black-hispanic.html?referringSource=articleShare

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