Black/African Americans (AA) and Disproportionate Burden of SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) Mortality in the United States

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Laurens Holmes, Jr. Keerti Deepika Janille Williams Benjamin Ogundele Glen Philipcien Michael Enwere Shikha Jain Naresh Dasari Ram Sanjiv Alur Ramesh Adhikari Gbadebo O Ogungbade


Purpose: Historically until date, viral pathogens remain very challenging with respect to transmission, severity, mortality and survival with respect to sub-population variances. While racial disparities in cumulative incidence (CmI) and mortality from the influenza pandemics of 1918 and 2009 implicated Blacks with survival disadvantage relative to Whites in the United States, COVID-19 currently indicates comparable disparities. We aimed to: assess COVID-19 CmI by race, determine the Black–White case fatality (CF) and risk differentials, and apply explanatory model for mortality risk differentials.

Methods: COVID-19 data on confirmed cases and deaths by selective states health departments were assessed using a cross-sectional ecologic design. Chi-square was used for CF independence, while binomial regression model for the Black–White risk differentials.

Results: The COVID-19 mortality CmI was disproportionate among Blacks/AA with 34% of the total mortality in the United States, albeit their 13% population size. The COVID-19 CF was higher among Blacks/AA relative to Whites; Maryland, (2.7% vs. 2.5%), Wisconsin (7.4% vs. 4.8%), Illinois (4.8% vs. 4.2%), Chicago (5.9% vs. 3.2%), Detroit (Michigan), 7.2% and St. John the Baptist Parish (Louisiana), 7.9%. Blacks/AA compared to Whites in Michigan were 15% more likely to die, CmI risk ratio (CmIRR) = 1.15, 95% CI, 1.01–1.32. Blacks/AA relative to Whites in Illinois were 13% more likely to die, CmIRR = 1.13, 95% CI, 0.93–1.39, while Blacks/AA compared to Whites in Wisconsin were 51% more likely to die, CmIRR = 1.51, 95% CI, 1.10–2.10. In Chicago, Blacks/AA were more than twice as likely to die, CmIRR = 2.24, 95% CI, 1.36–3.88.

Conclusion: Substantial racial/ethnic disparities are observed in COVID-19 CF and mortality with Blacks/AA disproportionately affected across the United States.

Keywords: COVID-19 (SARS-COV2), race/ethnicity, case fatality, mortality, health disparities, United States

Keywords: COVID-19 (SARS-COV2), race/ethnicity, case fatality, mortality, health disparities, United States

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HOLMES, JR., Laurens et al. Black/African Americans (AA) and Disproportionate Burden of SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) Mortality in the United States. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 6, june 2022. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 apr. 2024. doi:
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