NYU Langone Health

New Study Finds Racial Disparities in COVID-19-related Deaths Exist Beyond Income Differences in 10 Large U.S. Cities

Newswise — (New York, NY) -- While data and news reports show that Black and Hispanic communities are disproportionately affected by the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the role that neighborhood income plays in COVID-19 deaths is less clear. New analyses by a team of researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine examine the interplay between race/ethnicity and income on COVID-19 cases and related deaths in 10 major U.S. cities.  The researchers found that non-white counties had higher cumulative incidences and deaths compared to predominantly white counties—and this was true for both low-income and high-income communities.

The findings – recently published online in JAMA Network Open – suggest that racial disparities in COVID-19 cases and deaths exist beyond what can be explained by differences in poverty rates. The researchers found that even among communities with higher median income, predominantly non-white communities still bore a greater burden of the virus – almost three times the incidence and deaths – compared to neighborhoods that identified as majority white. Yet income also plays an important contributing role. Indeed, the starkest racial/ethnic contrast between majority non-white and predominantly white counties was found when restricted to low-income counties only, where residents from predominantly non-white communities died from COVID-19 at nine times the rate as those living in predominantly white counties.  

“While we expected to see greater numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in predominantly non-white, low-income communities, we were surprised that this relationship still held even after we accounted for poverty rates,” said Samrachana Adhikari, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Population Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and lead author of the study. “Given our findings, we believe that structural racism may explain these racial disparities in number of cases and deaths noted in Black counties.”

How the Study was Conducted

Using publicly available data from the 2018 U.S. Census Small Areas Income and Poverty Estimates program, the Centers for Disease Control, and state health departments, the researchers examined cumulative COVID-19 cases and deaths per 100,000 across 158 urban counties (accounting for 64 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases) spanning 10 large U.S. cities: New York City, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Using the census data, the team linked median income and proportion of non-white residents in each county and used statistical analysis to identify differences in cumulative incidents and death, and their association with neighborhood race/ethnicity and poverty levels. All data analyzed included COVID-19 cases and deaths observed through May 10, 2020.  

“We have known for decades that racism kills. Racism is a public health issue which has been implicated in the racial gap in mortality and in health outcomes,” says Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH, professor of Population Health and Medicine at NYU Langone and one of the study’s co-authors.

“Because the differences in COVID-19 cases and mortality cannot be explained by poverty alone, our findings give credence to our hypothesis that structural racism underlies the disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 infections and alarmingly high rates of deaths in predominantly Black communities. The fact that non-white residents died from the virus at higher rates than white residents in both wealthier and poorer communities should be a major alarm bell to policymakers at the national and local government levels, academic medical centers, and the country at large,” says Ogedegbe.  

One of the study’s limitations, according to Adhikari, is that it covers only large metropolitan areas and that the data analyzed are aggregated at the county level. More granular data at the individual level, as well as a breakdown of residents by race and ethnicity, would provide greater insight into the drivers of this troubling association, as well as expose most affected neighborhoods in need of more robust public health interventions, says Adhikari.  
 
In addition to Adhikari and Ogedegbe, additional co-authors from NYU Langone Health are senior author Andrea Troxel, ScD; Lorna Thorpe, PhD, MPH; Justin Feldman, ScD; and Nicholas Pantaleo. Dr. Adhikari is funded by National Institute of Health and Johnson & Johnson.






Filters close

Showing results

110 of 4146
Newswise: Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19: Your Mental Health
Released: 25-Nov-2020 2:15 PM EST
Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19: Your Mental Health
Cedars-Sinai

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaped more than half a year of our lives, canceling plans, upending livelihoods and causing feelings of grief, stress and anxiety. And Cedars-Sinai mental health experts say the pandemic could be shaping our mental health well into the future.

Released: 25-Nov-2020 12:45 PM EST
SARS-CoV-2 mutations do not appear to increase transmissibility
University College London

None of the mutations currently documented in the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear to increase its transmissibility in humans, according to a study led by UCL researchers.

Newswise: COVID-19 vaccine candidate tested preclinically at UAB nears first clinical test in people
Released: 25-Nov-2020 11:05 AM EST
COVID-19 vaccine candidate tested preclinically at UAB nears first clinical test in people
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Maryland-based Altimmune Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, has submitted an Investigational New Drug, or IND, application to the United States Food and Drug Administration to commence a Phase 1 clinical study of its single-dose intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AdCOVID.

Released: 25-Nov-2020 11:05 AM EST
BIDMC researchers reveal how genetic variations are linked to COVID-19 disease severity
Beth Israel Lahey Health

New research BIDMC-led sheds light on the genetic risk factors that make individuals more or less susceptible to severe COVID-19.

Newswise: blog-pandemic-scenario-planning-lg-feature2.jpg
Released: 25-Nov-2020 11:05 AM EST
Pandemic Ups Game on Scenario Planning in The Arts
Wallace Foundation

Researcher/Author of new toolkit and report seeks to help arts and culture organizations add scenario planning to their strategic toolbox

Released: 25-Nov-2020 10:30 AM EST
Young people's anxiety levels doubled during first COVID-19 lockdown, says study
University of Bristol

The number of young people with anxiety doubled from 13 per cent to 24 per cent, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown 1, according to new research from the University of Bristol.

Newswise: 249837_web.jpg
Released: 25-Nov-2020 10:20 AM EST
Tracking COVID-19 trends in hard-hit states
Louisiana State University

Currently, there are over 10 million confirmed cases and more than 240,000 casualties attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S.

Released: 25-Nov-2020 9:55 AM EST
More Health Systems Join National #MaskUp Campaign
Cleveland Clinic

Many more health systems are joining the national #MaskUp campaign encouraging Americans to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following safety guidelines. Over just a few days, another 19 health systems with hundreds of hospitals united with 100 health systems nationwide with hospitals numbering in the thousands. The public service campaign is critical to the health and well-being of all Americans. It is a plea from healthcare professionals everywhere: wear a mask and follow other precautions to save lives and help get our country back on its feet.

Newswise: delaterre_jpeg.jpg
Released: 25-Nov-2020 7:35 AM EST
Warwick scientists design model to predict cellular drug targets against Covid-19
University of Warwick

The covid-19 virus, like all viruses relies on their host for reproduction

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 30-Nov-2020 10:00 AM EST Released to reporters: 24-Nov-2020 5:35 PM EST

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 30-Nov-2020 10:00 AM EST The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.


Showing results

110 of 4146

close
1.03702