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Impact of race
and ethnicity on COVID-19
adult patients

The impact of race and ethnicity on outcomes in 19,584 adults hospitalized with COVID-19



At the population level, Black and Hispanic adults in the United States have increased risk of dying from COVID-19, yet whether race and ethnicity impact on risk of mortality among those hospitalized for COVID-19 is unclear.


Retrospective cohort study using data on adults hospitalized with COVID-19 from the electronic health record from 52 health systems across the United States contributing data to Cerner Real World DataTM. In-hospital mortality was evaluated by race first in unadjusted analysis then sequentially adjusting for demographics and clinical characteristics using logistic regression.


Through August 2020, 19,584 patients with median age 52 years were hospitalized with COVID-19, including n = 4,215 (21.5%) Black and n = 5,761 (29.4%) Hispanic patients. Relative to white patients, crude mortality was slightly higher in Black adults [22.7% vs 20.8%, unadjusted OR 1.12 (95% CI 1.02–1.22)]. Mortality remained higher among Black adults after adjusting for demographic factors including age, sex, date, region, and insurance status (OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.01–1.27), but not after including comorbidities and body mass index (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.93–1.23). Compared with non-Hispanic patients, Hispanic patients had lower mortality both in unadjusted and adjusted models [mortality 12.7 vs 25.0%, unadjusted OR 0.44(95% CI 0.40–0.48), fully adjusted OR 0.71 (95% CI 0.59–0.86)].


In this large, multicenter, EHR-based analysis, Black adults hospitalized with COVID-19 had higher observed mortality than white patients due to a higher burden of comorbidities in Black adults. In contrast, Hispanic ethnicity was associated with lower mortality, even in fully adjusted models.