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Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
October 19, 2020
2 min read

COVID-19 mortality increases among Hispanic population in US

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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Deaths associated with COVID-19 disproportionately affect the Hispanic and Black communities in the United States, according to research published in MMWR.

Although COVID-19-related mortality has slightly decreased among Black people from May to August, data showed that it increased among Hispanic people.

COVID-19 deaths among Hispanic community in US
Reference: Gold JAW, et al. MMWR Morbid Mortal Weekly Rep. 2020;doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6942e1.

Racial and ethnic disparities among COVID-19 decedents have persisted over the course of the pandemic and continue to increase among Hispanic persons,” Jeremy A.W. Gold, MD, an epidemic intelligence service officer at the CDC, and colleagues wrote.

Gold and colleagues evaluated deaths related to COVID-19 that were reported to the National Vital Statistics System from May 1 to August 31 across 50 states and the District of Columbia.

They identified a total of 114,411 deaths associated with COVID-19 during the study period. Among them, 78.2% occurred in those aged 65 years or older, 53.3% were male, 51.3% were white, 24.2% were Hispanic, 18.7% were Black, 3.5% were Asian and 1.3% were American Indian or Alaska Native.

The researchers found that the percentage of deaths among those who were white decreased from 56.9% to 51.5% during the study period. They also determined that the percentage of deaths in the Black community decreased from 20.3% to 17.4%, while the percentage of deaths in the Hispanic community increased from 16.3% to 26.4%.

Although deaths decreased among Black individuals, they remained disproportionate compared with the general population; Black individuals represent 12.5% of the U.S. population but accounted for 18.7% of COVID-19-related deaths. Similarly, although Hispanic people represent 18.5% of the population, they accounted for 24.2% of deaths.

Gold and colleagues also found that the distribution of deaths by geographic region shifted during the study period. From May to August, the percentage of deaths increased from 23.4% to 62.7% in the South and from 16.3% to 26.4% in the West. During the same time, the percentages of deaths in the Northeast decreased from 44.2% to 4%, and in the Midwest from 21.8% to 11.8%.

The researchers also found that the percentages of deaths in nursing homes or long-term care facilities decreased from 29.8% to 16.6% from May to August.

“These results can inform public health messaging and mitigation efforts focused on prevention and early detection of infection among disproportionately affected groups so as to minimize subsequent mortality,” Gold and colleagues wrote.