J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. 2022 Jul 4;12(4):14-19. doi: 10.55729/2000-9666.1035. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: There have been varying impacts of COVID-19 on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic communities in the US. Recent literature suggests that Black Americans have the highest unadjusted and adjusted mortality rates from COVID-19, while White Americans have the lowest unadjusted and adjusted rates. However, the role of socioeconomic status and comorbidities in these disparities in health outcomes from COVID-19 are unclear. Thus, the purpose of this study is to evaluate how socioeconomic status and race impact COVID-19 outcomes in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in a large health care system in the Mid-Atlantic region.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the association of COVID-19 outcomes and race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status using electronic medical records and the REDCap database from the time period of March 5, 2020 to June 3, 2020. The outcomes evaluated were intubation, ICU admission, and discharge destination. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was then performed to examine whether race and socioeconomic status were independent risk factors of mortality controlling for age, Charlson comorbidity index (CCI), and comorbidities.
RESULTS: Race was not found to be an independent predictor for COVID-19 inpatient mortality. Race was found to be an independent risk factor for ICU admission with odds of ICU admission for Black patients to be 1.5 times higher (odds ratio (OR) 1.4 1.07 to 2.04) compared to Non-Black/Non-White (72.4% identifying as Hispanic) but no difference between Black and White races. Race was found not to be an independent risk factor for intubation nor was race an independent risk factor for increased length of ICU LOS, hospital LOS or intubation days. Socioeconomic status was not an independent risk factor for inpatient mortality although high income groups were significantly less likely to be admitted to the ICU compared to middle income patients.
CONCLUSION: Our cohort of patients in a large mid-Atlantic health system showed that there was no statistically significant difference between race or socioeconomic status and COVID-19 related inpatient mortality. However, Black patients and individuals in the lower to middle socioeconomic group had a higher rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations when accounting for age, sex, and comorbidities. With ongoing vaccination efforts, equitable administration of resources should focus on disproportionately affected populations.