More than 70 percent of hospitalized coronavirus patients who died in one Louisiana health system were black, a disturbing new study found.
More than 76 percent of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 were black. Only about a third of the community served by the Ochsner Health system is black.
The new research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is just the latest evidence that the minority – and especially black – Americans are being disproportionately killed by the corona virus.
Reasons for this troubling trend are manifold, complicated and intertwined.
The New Orleans-based team noted that black patients were more likely to have underlying health problems because of increasing the risks of serious COVID-19, such as heart disease or diabetes, for jobs that increased their exposure to the virus and are genetically predisposed to worse inflammation .
More than 70 percent of coronavirus patients who died in the Ochsner Health system in Louisiana were black, a new study finds. Louisiana, where a third of the population has been affected by the coronavirus, which claimed the lives of Mardi Gras royalty Larry Hammond in April. Only 10 mourners were allowed at his funeral (photo)
This study provides comparative epidemiological features of black non-Hispanic patients who are underrepresented in Covid-19 medical literature to date. The study also sheds light on differences in clinical presentations, ‘the authors wrote.
That is not new. The number of poor health outcomes and chronic diseases among black Americans has long been higher than among white Americans, while research on minorities has been relatively scarce.
Coronavirus makes no distinction, but the same trends are visible during the pandemic.
Black patients were disproportionately affected in virtually every measure studied by the Ochsner Health group.
In total, 3,626 patients tested positive in one of 40 Ochsner hospitals, and 70.4 percent of them were black.
Black patients represented more than 76 percent of those who tested positive in the Ochsner system, which serves a population that is only 31% black
More than 81 percent of the critically ill coronavirus patients who required respirators were black
Only a third of the Louisiana population and 31 percent of Ochsner patients are black, meaning the proportion of positives was more than double what one would expect if all things were equal.
The researchers suggest that one of the reasons black people in Louisiana were overrepresented in the positive test results is the kind of job they work for.
Most people who work in the service sector in the state are members of a minority group, and these people – supermarket workers, fast food restaurant workers – had to continue working during the pandemic because their jobs are considered ‘essential services’.
Low wages paid for these types of functions also mean that these groups were less likely to stay at home and instead work where their chances of exposure to coronavirus were higher.
The nursing homes in Louisiana are notably leveled by the coronavirus, a topic discussed in April by Governor John Bel Edwards and President Trump
About 40 percent of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were hospitalized. Eighty percent of them were black.
Again, 80 percent of patients who were so ill that they needed to be cared for in intensive care were black, and 81 percent who needed respirators were black.
Black patients admitted to hospitals were more likely to have obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease – all chronic conditions associated with more severe disease in coronavirus patients.
They also showed more inflammatory markers, some studies of which have suggested that African Americans are more genetically susceptible compared to white Americans of European descent.
Inflammation is of particular concern with COVID-19, which triggers an inflammatory immune response that often derails and eventually overwhelms and kills the patient.
Ultimately, 326 patients in the hospital died from coronavirus, more than 70 percent of whom were black.
However, the authors note that the case-by-case mortality rate was actually higher in white patients. The mortality rate in white patients was about 30 percent, while in black patients it was about 22 percent.
Still, the findings are very similar to those in other states like New York and Georgia, but are among the largest in the U.S. to look at how black Americans are disproportionately affected by coronavirus.
Its findings help to clarify some – although not all – factors that contribute to higher mortality rates among black Americans with coronavirus and provide insight into the additional risks these patients face, which may help doctors better manage their infections and complications. to treat.