Black COVID-19 patients in Atlanta more likely to be hospitalized than white patients: CDC

Black COVID-19 patients in Atlanta more likely to be hospitalized than white patients: CDC
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Black COVID-19 patients in Atlanta are more likely to be hospitalized than white patients with the disease, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

An analysis of 531 COVID-19 patients across six acute care hospitals and outpatient clinics found that hospitalized patients were more likely to be older, male and black.

Obesity, hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and a history of smoking cigarettes were more prevalent among hospitalized patients, suggesting a relationship between the severity of illness and underlying illness, the CDC authors wrote.

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“Racial and ethnic minority groups are at higher risk for severe complications from COVID-19 because of the increased prevalence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other underlying conditions among racial and ethnic minority groups,” the authors wrote. 

“Social determinants of health might also contribute to the disproportionate incidence of COVID-19 in racial and ethnic minority groups, including factors related to housing, economic stability and work circumstances," they added.

The authors also noted that in the U.S., black workers are more likely than others to be front-line industry or essential workers, increasing their risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

However, while earlier research has shown African Americans are more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19, the authors wrote, no connection has been made with mortality rates among hospitalized patients. 

That distinction might indicate that underlying health conditions alone do not account for the higher rate of hospitalization among African Americans, the authors wrote.

“This might indicate that black persons are more likely to be hospitalized because of more severe illness, or it might indicate that black persons are less likely to be identified in the outpatient setting, potentially reflecting differences in health care access or utilization or other factors not identified through medical review,” the researchers wrote. 

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Other studies, however, have found that black people are more likely than white people to die of COVID-19.

According to incomplete data collected by the CDC, African Americans, who make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, account for 21.7 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.

In Georgia, more than 60,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, including 2,575 deaths.