A new study led by the researchers of University of Michigan have suggested that African American ( black patients) with underlying health conditions including type 2 diabetes and kidney disease are at higher risk for getting hospitalized with COVID-19, in comparison to white patients with similar health and socioeconomic conditions.
In the study, researchers studied a cohort of 5,698 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 by using electronic health data from Michigan Medicine hospitals. Later researchers randomly selected patients for comparison. Moreover, researchers evaluated certain factors such as age, race/ethnicity, alcohol consumption, smoking, body mass index (BMI), and residential-level socioeconomic characteristics of these randomly selected patients. Comorbidities were also compared by the researchers such as liver disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, and circulatory disease.
Later after the assessment, researchers observed certain variances in the effect of obesity and prior cancer diagnosis exhibiting stronger connection with COVID susceptibility in Black patients. On the other hand, risk of hospitalization with whole comorbidity burden and type 2 diabetes was higher in patients with white ethnicity.
Bhramar Mukherjee, Senior author, from University of Michigan stated, “Our findings highlight that poor COVID-19 outcomes are disproportionately associated with at-risk populations: elderly adults, those with preexisting conditions and those in population-dense communities. We call for increased investments in testing and prevention efforts in lower socioeconomic status, densely populated and racially diverse communities. It is these same communities that are home to a greater proportion of essential workers and thus need increased testing and protection.”