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COVID-19 Prevalence and Mortality Rates in Association with Black Race and Segregation in the United States April 1 to April 15, 2020
17 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2020More...
Background: COVID-19 may be experienced disproportionately among racial minorities but evidence is limited. The study objective was to determine whether COVID-19 prevalence and mortality rates were higher in the US population in association with race/ethnicity, racial segregation, and other population characteristics.
Methods: The study used a repeated measures county-level ecological design including all US counties. Exposures included population characteristics including percent Black race, racial segregation, household income and income inequality, age, education, health insurance rates, primary care physician supply, and percent rural population. Outcomes were COVID-19 prevalence per 100,000 population, and death rates from COVID-19 per 100,000 between April 1 and April 15, 2020.
Findings: Higher disease prevalence and death rates were found in association with higher racial segregation, higher percent Black population, income and income inequality, and lower percent rural population. The disparity among populations characterized by combined higher percent Black population and higher segregation significantly worsened between April 1 and April 15, 2020.
Interpretation: Populations with a combination of higher percent of Black populations and greater racial segregation experienced higher COVID-19 prevalence and mortality, and this disparity increased significantly as the disease outbreak in the US worsened in the first half of April 2020. Current and future efforts to fight COVID-19 should address disproportionate risks in these communities.
Funding Statement: The study received no funding from any public or private source.
Declaration of Interests: None.
Keywords: COVID-19; Black Americans; mortality; prevalence; racial segregation
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation