78% of pediatric coronavirus deaths occur in Black, Hispanic or Indigenous populations
According to a new report in MMWR, 78% of pediatric deaths related to SARS-CoV-2 occurred in Black, Hispanic, American Indian, or Alaska Native people, although these groups represent just 41% of the U.S. population.
The report covered a nearly 6-month period from Feb. 12 through July 31, during which 391,814 cases of COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) were reported to the CDC in people aged younger than 21 years, including 121 deaths.
This age group accounted for 8% of total cases and .08% of total deaths from the coronavirus during the study period, according to Danae Bixler, MD, MPH, from the CDC’s COVID-19 Response Team, and colleagues.
Mortality was more likely among male youths, who accounted for 63% of the 121 deaths, the researchers reported. Young adults aged 18 to 20 years accounted for 41.3% (n = 50) of deaths.
Of the 121 young people who died, 75% (n = 91) had at least one underlying medical condition and 45% (n = 54) had two or more underlying conditions. The most commonly reported conditions were chronic lung disease, including asthma 28% (n = 34); obesity 27% (n = 33); neurologic and developmental conditions 22% (n = 26); and cardiovascular conditions 18% (n = 22).
Bixler and colleagues noted that 65% (n = 79) of deaths occurred after hospital admission, whereas 32% (39) occurred at home or in the ED. The highest proportion of deaths at home or inside the ED occurred in infants (33%) and people aged between 14 and 20 years (37%).