Black Hispanics Have Highest COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Mortality Rates

October 28, 2020
John Parkinson
John Parkinson

A new study shows disproportionate impact of the virus to this group.


A new study shows that black Hispanics have higher rates of both hospitalizations and deaths compared to other Hispanic white and non-Hispanic white populations

"Our results clearly show that Hispanic individuals are more likely to be hospitalized and die from COVID-19 infection than non-Hispanic individuals, with the worst outcomes among Hispanic Black individuals," the study's corresponding author Sarah Kimball, MD, co-director of Boston Medical Center’s Immigrant & Refugee Health Center, said.

The findings were published in Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

Investigators took Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data that was collected from April 5 to May 18 looking at over 78000 individuals. They looked a t a variety of elements related to the virus including hospitalization, admission to the ICU, need for breathing support, and mortality rates among Hispanic white, Hispanic black, and Hispanic multiracial/other groups.

With this dataset, they compared all those factors and compared it to non-Hispanic white individuals.

Hispanic blacks had 51% comorbidities and 45% hospitalizations. In terms of ICU admittance, Hispanic multiracial individuals had the highest rate at 10 percent, and also had the highest incidence of mechanical ventilation, also 10%, and the highest mortality rate (16.1%).

Overall, Hispanic groups fared worse than non-Hispanic white individuals. The relative risk of death was 1.36, 1.72 and 1.68 times higher for Hispanic white, Hispanic Black and Hispanic multiracial compared to non-Hispanic white individuals.

The authors noted that the way information is collected on race and ethnicity that the variations make it difficult to give a complete reporting. They also said there are no universal standards or processes in place at health care institutions to get this demographic information.

While it is unknown why this group seems to be hardest hit, the investigators discussed how it is a reflection of overall society as it relates to race and inequalities.

"The dilemma is that we know these disparities among racial groups aren't biological, and reflect the systemic impacts of racism and inequality," Kimball said. "Yet, we need better data collection on racial and ethnic groups, in order to develop interventions tailored to address the COVID-19 disparities among specific patient populations."