COVID-19 disproportionately affected poorer communities

By Kate Madden Yee, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

May 2, 2022 -- The COVID-19 pandemic had a greater negative effect on poorer communities, according to research presented at the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) meeting in New Orleans.

A team led by Dr. Ali Farhat of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York reviewed charts from between March 2020 and June 2021 for 2,537 patients; of these, 9%, or 231, were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection via positive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or positive antibody test. The team also tracked incidents of hospitalization and any COVID-19-related deaths.

The group found that 9% of patients reporting to Albert Einstein's lung cancer screening program developed COVID-19 during the first 16 months of the pandemic. Of these, almost a third were hospitalized; mortality rate was 6.9%, and was associated with multiple comorbidities, the team noted.

Of those who contracted COVID-19 infection, patients of color had higher percentages than their white counterparts, the group found. The team noted the following breakdown by ethnicity:

  • Latinx: 45.5%
  • Black: 20.3%
  • White: 16%
  • Other: 18.2%

"The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected inhabitants of underserved communities," Farhat and colleagues concluded.


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