A new study revealed that African American COVID-19 patients in Northern California are 2.7 times more likely to be hospitalized than Non-Hispanic White patients and tend to arrive at healthcare facilities sicker and with more severe symptoms.
The authors examined retrospective data from a cohort of 1,052 COVID-19 patients at Sutter Health, a large integrated health care system in northern California. They identified adults with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 from January 1-April 8, 2020 used multivariable logistic regression to assess risk of hospitalization, adjusting for known risk factors, including race/ethnicity, sex, age, health, and socioeconomic variables.
The find suggest that African Americans with COVID-19 have greater odds of hospital admission suggest that they present for testing and medical care at more advanced or severe stages of illness. The authors propose a variety of mechanisms that could account for this delay, including unknown or unmeasured genetic or biological factors that increase the severity of COVID-19, societal factors that either result in barriers to timely access to care or create circumstances in which patients view delaying care as the most sensible option, and unconscious biases on the part of providers and prior negative experiences that lead to distrust.