Open Forum Infect Dis. 2020 Sep 1;7(10):ofaa401. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofaa401. eCollection 2020 Oct.
BACKGROUND: There is a limited understanding of the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the Latinx population. We hypothesized that Latinx patients would be more likely to be hospitalized and admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) than White patients.
METHODS: We analyzed all patients with COVID-19 in 12 Massachusetts hospitals between February 1 and April 14, 2020. We examined the association between race, ethnicity, age, reported comorbidities, and hospitalization and ICU admission using multivariable regression.
RESULTS: Of 5190 COVID-19 patients, 29% were hospitalized; 33% required the ICU, and 4.3% died. Forty-six percent of patients were White, 25% Latinx, 14% African American, and 3% Asian American. Ethnicity and race were significantly associated with hospitalization. More Latinx and African American patients in the younger age groups were hospitalized than whites. Latinxs and African Americans disproportionally required the ICU, with 39% of hospitalized Latinx patients requiring the ICU compared with 33% of African Americans, 24% of Asian Americans, and 30% of Whites (P < .007). Within each ethnic and racial group, age and male gender were independently predictive of hospitalization. Previously reported preexisting comorbidities contributed to the need for hospitalization in all racial and ethnic groups (P < .05). However, the observed disparities were less likely related to reported comorbidities, with Latinx and African American patients being admitted at twice the rate of Whites, regardless of such comorbidities.
CONCLUSIONS: Latinx and African American patients with COVID-19 have higher rates of hospitalization and ICU admission than White patients. The etiologies of such disparities are likely multifactorial and cannot be explained only by reported comorbidities.