PLoS One. 2021 Jul 21;16(7):e0254809. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0254809. eCollection 2021.
INTRODUCTION: 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.
METHODS: 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.
RESULTS: 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)].
DISCUSSION: 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.