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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Hospital Admissions from COVID-19: Determining the Impact of Neighborhood Deprivation and Primary Language.
Ingraham NE, Purcell LN, Karam BS, Dudley RA, Usher MG, Warlick CA, Allen ML, Melton GB, Charles A, Tignanelli CJ. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Hospital Admissions from COVID-19: Determining the Impact of Neighborhood Deprivation and Primary Language. Journal of general internal medicine. 2021 Nov 1; 36(11):3462-3470.
Despite past and ongoing efforts to achieve health equity in the USA, racial and ethnic disparities persist and appear to be exacerbated by COVID-19.
Evaluate neighborhood-level deprivation and English language proficiency effect on disproportionate outcomes seen in racial and ethnic minorities diagnosed with COVID-19.
Retrospective cohort study SETTING: Health records of 12 Midwest hospitals and 60 clinics in Minnesota between March 4, 2020, and August 19, 2020 PATIENTS: Polymerase chain reaction-positive COVID-19 patients EXPOSURES: Area Deprivation Index (ADI) and primary language MAIN MEASURES: The primary outcome was COVID-19 severity, using hospitalization within 45 days of diagnosis as a marker of severity. Logistic and competing-risk regression models assessed the effects of neighborhood-level deprivation (using the ADI) and primary language. Within race, effects of ADI and primary language were measured using logistic regression.
A total of 5577 individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 were included; 866 (n = 15.5%) were hospitalized within 45 days of diagnosis. Hospitalized patients were older (60.9 vs. 40.4 years, p < 0.001) and more likely to be male (n = 425 [49.1%] vs. 2049 [43.5%], p = 0.002). Of those requiring hospitalization, 43.9% (n = 381), 19.9% (n = 172), 18.6% (n = 161), and 11.8% (n = 102) were White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic, respectively. Independent of ADI, minority race/ethnicity was associated with COVID-19 severity: Hispanic patients (OR 3.8, 95% CI 2.72-5.30), Asians (OR 2.39, 95% CI 1.74-3.29), and Blacks (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.15-1.94). ADI was not associated with hospitalization. Non-English-speaking (OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.51-2.43) significantly increased odds of hospital admission across and within minority groups.
Minority populations have increased odds of severe COVID-19 independent of neighborhood deprivation, a commonly suspected driver of disparate outcomes. Non-English-speaking accounts for differences across and within minority populations. These results support the ongoing need to determine the mechanisms that contribute to disparities during COVID-19 while also highlighting the underappreciated role primary language plays in COVID-19 severity among minority groups.