J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 Jan 19. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-00966-0. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Studies of COVID-19 have shown that African Americans have been affected by the virus at a higher rate compared to other races. This cohort study investigated comorbidities and clinical outcomes by race among COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit.
METHODS: This is a case series of critically ill patients admitted with COVID-19 to an academic healthcare system in Atlanta, Georgia. The study included all critically ill hospitalized patients between March 6, 2020, and May 5, 2020. Clinical outcomes during hospitalization included mechanical ventilation, renal replacement therapy, and mortality stratified by race.
RESULTS: Of 288 patients included (mean age, 63 ± 16 years; 45% female), 210 (73%) were African American. African Americans had significantly higher rates of comorbidities compared to other races, including hypertension (80% vs 59%, P = 0.001), diabetes (49% vs 34%, P = 0.026), and mean BMI (33 kg/m2 vs 28 kg/m2, P < 0.001). Despite African Americans requiring continuous renal replacement therapy during hospitalization at higher rates than other races (27% vs 13%, P = 0.011), rates of intubation, intensive care unit length of stay, and overall mortality (30% vs 24%, P = 0.307) were similar.
CONCLUSION: This racially diverse series of critically ill COVID-19 patients shows that despite higher rates of comorbidities at hospital admission in African Americans compared with other races, there was no significant difference in mortality.