1. Non-Hispanic black patients were shown to have higher rates of hospitalization and death from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) compared to non-Hispanic white patients in a single hospital system in Louisiana.
2. Non-Hispanic black patients did not have higher rates of in-hospital mortality compared to non-Hispanic white patients.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Study Rundown: Determining the clinical characteristics and outcomes of hospital patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is essential for understanding the epidemiology of the disease. Data from United States patients suggests diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic lung disease increase the risk for severe COVID-19-associated disease. Many reports on COVID-19 highlight age and sex-related differences in health outcomes, however, racial and ethnic differences in outcomes are not yet described in depth. As such, this study compared the clinical characteristics and hospital course COVID-19 cases among non-Hispanic black patients and non-Hispanic white patients in Louisiana. Clinical data was taken from the electronic medical records from the Ochsner Health System, which is the largest integrated-delivery health system in the state. The study determined non-Hispanic black patients had a higher rate of hospitalization and deaths from COVID-19 compared to non-Hispanic white patients. However, non-Hispanic black patients did not have a higher rate of in-hospital mortality compared to non-Hispanic white patients. This retrospective study was limited by analyzing the patient characteristics of only one integrated-delivery health system in Louisiana. Therefore, the generalizability of the study conclusions needed to be cautiously made for other health care settings where the patient population and hospital care expertise are different. Further, laboratory testing was not performed in all patients. Therefore, the clinical presentation of the study population may not be sufficiently represented in the study. Nonetheless, this study was strengthened by the addition of a large population of non-Hispanic black patients from the southern region of the United States to existing COVID-19 epidemiologic data. For physicians, these findings highlight the existing differences in the clinical course of COVID-19 based on race in patients.
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