CDC data highlight racial disparities in spread, scope of COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has been particularly challenging for older adults and racial and ethnic minorities, the CDC reported on Friday. Pool Photo by Saul Loeb/UPI

July 11 (UPI) — More than 34 percent of Hispanic and Latin Americans who died from COVID-19 across the United States were younger than 65, an analysis released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

About 30 percent of black Americans who died from COVID-19 also were younger than 65, compared to just over 13 percent of white Americans younger than 65 who died from the disease, CDC said.

Just over 20 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been adults under age 65, the agency said.

“The relatively high percentages of Hispanic and non-white decedents aged less than 65 years were notable,” the CDC researchers wrote in the report.

Researchers said healthcare providers should consider the potential of severe disease in younger people who are non-white or have underlying conditions.

“More prompt diagnoses could facilitate earlier implementation of supportive care,” they said.

In all, Hispanic and Latin Americans accounted for one in four deaths from COVID-19, the CDC found, even though they constitute just under 19 percent of the U.S. population, according to census data.

African Americans made up about 20 percent of all COVID-19 deaths, even though they account for just over 13 percent of the U.S. population based on census data, CDC said.

The latest CDC findings on the impact of COVID-19 are based on an analysis of data through May 18. At that time, more than 1.3 million cases of the disease were confirmed across the United States, resulting in 83,000 deaths, the agency said.

Through Friday afternoon, more than 3.1 million confirmed cases and more than 133,000 deaths were reported in this country, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The CDC analysis also showed that, as of May 18, approximately 60 percent of those who died from COVID-19 in the United States were male.

More than 75 percent of those who died have had at least one underlying medical condition, including 83 percent of those age 65 or younger, the CDC said.

Heart disease was the most common underlying health condition among COVID-19 deaths, at 61 percent, followed by diabetes at 40 percent, chronic kidney disease at 21 percent, and chronic lung disease at 19 percent, the agency said.

Nearly half of those aged 65 and younger who died from COVID-19 had diabetes, CDC reported.

Efforts to examine SARS-CoV-2 transmission and COVID-19-associated deaths among different racial and ethnic groups “could lead to targeted, community-level, mortality prevention initiatives,” CDC researchers wrote.

“These campaigns could encourage social distancing and the need for wearing cloth face coverings in public settings,” they wrote.


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