Disparities in COVID-19 hospitalizations and mortality among black and Hispanic patients: cross-sectional analysis from the greater Houston metropolitan area. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Disparate racial/ethnic burdens of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may be attributable to higher susceptibility to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or to factors such as differences in hospitalization and care provision. METHODS: In our cross-sectional analysis of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases from a tertiary, eight-hospital healthcare system across greater Houston, multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to evaluate hospitalization and mortality odds for non-Hispanic Blacks (NHBs) vs. non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs) and Hispanics vs. non-Hispanics. RESULTS: Between March 3rd and July 18th, 2020, 70,496 individuals were tested for SARS-CoV-2; 12,084 (17.1%) tested positive, of whom 3536 (29.3%) were hospitalized. Among positive cases, NHBs and Hispanics were significantly younger than NHWs and Hispanics, respectively (mean age NHBs vs. NHWs: 46.0 vs. 51.7 years; p < 0.001 and Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic: 44.0 vs. 48.7 years; p < 0.001). Despite younger age, NHBs (vs. NHWs) had a higher prevalence of diabetes (25.2% vs. 17.6%; p < 0.001), hypertension (47.7% vs. 43.1%; p < 0.001), and chronic kidney disease (5.0% vs. 3.3%; p = 0.001). Both minority groups resided in lower median income (median income [USD]; NHBs vs. NHWs: 63,489 vs. 75,793; p < 0.001, Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic: 59,104 vs. 68,318; p < 0.001) and higher population density areas (median population density [per square mile]; NHBs vs. NHWs: 3257 vs. 2742; p < 0.001, Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic: 3381 vs. 2884; p < 0.001). In fully adjusted models, NHBs (vs. NHWs) and Hispanics (vs. non-Hispanic) had higher likelihoods of hospitalization, aOR (95% CI): 1.42 (1.24-1.63) and 1.61 (1.46-1.78), respectively. No differences were observed in intensive care unit (ICU) utilization or treatment parameters. Models adjusted for demographics, vital signs, laboratory parameters, hospital complications, and ICU admission vital signs demonstrated non-significantly lower likelihoods of in-hospital mortality among NHBs and Hispanic patients, aOR (95% CI): 0.65 (0.40-1.03) and 0.89 (0.59-1.31), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our data did not demonstrate racial and ethnic differences in care provision and hospital outcomes. Higher susceptibility of racial and ethnic minorities to SARS-CoV-2 and subsequent hospitalization may be driven primarily by social determinants.

published proceedings

  • BMC Public Health

altmetric score

  • 10.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Pan, A. P., Khan, O., Meeks, J. R., Boom, M. L., Masud, F. N., Andrieni, J. D., ... Vahidy, F. S.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Pan, Alan P||Khan, Osman||Meeks, Jennifer R||Boom, Marc L||Masud, Faisal N||Andrieni, Julia D||Phillips, Robert A||Tiruneh, Yordanos M||Kash, Bita A||Vahidy, Farhaan S

publication date

  • July 2021