Cureus. 2021 Feb 4;13(2):e13128. doi: 10.7759/cureus.13128.
Background On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) a pandemic. Nearly five million individuals have since been diagnosed with this increasingly common and potentially lethal viral infection. Emerging evidence suggests a disproportionate burden of illness and death among minority communities. We aimed to evaluate the effect of ethnicity on outcomes among patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Northern Nevada. Methods The electronic health records of 172 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were obtained from a 946-bed tertiary referral center serving Northern Nevada. Demographic and clinical characteristics were compared by ethnic group (Hispanic versus non-Hispanic). Logistic regression was used to determine predictors of mortality. Results Among 172 patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 between March 12 and May 8, 2020, 87 (50.6%) identified as Hispanic and 81 (47.1%) as non-Hispanic. Hispanic individuals were significantly more likely to be uninsured and to live in low-income communities as compared to their non-Hispanic counterparts (27.6% versus 8.2% and 52.9% versus 30.6%, respectively). Hispanic patients were also less likely than non-Hispanics to have a primary care provider (42.5% versus 61.2%). However, mortality was significantly higher among the non-Hispanic population (15.3% versus 5.8%). Conclusion The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Hispanic individuals in Northern Nevada, who account for only 25.7% of the population but over half of the confirmed cases. The underlying causes of ethnic disparities in COVID-19 incidence remain to be established, but further investigation may lead to more effective community- and systems-based interventions.