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Racial and ethnic disparities in the observed COVID-19 case fatality rate among the U.S. population
During the initial 12 months of the pandemic, racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 death rates received considerable attention but it has been unclear whether disparities in death rates were due to disparities in case fatality rates (CFRs), incidence rates or both. We examined differences in observed COVID-19 CFRs between U.S. White, Black/African American, and Latinx individuals during this period.
Using data from the COVID Tracking Project and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Case Surveillance Public Use dataset, we calculated CFR ratios comparing Black and Latinx to White individuals, both overall and separately by age group. We also used a model of monthly COVID-19 deaths to estimate CFR ratios, adjusting for age, gender, and differences across states and time.
Overall Black and Latinx individuals had lower CFRs than their White counterparts. However, when adjusting for age, Black and Latinx had higher CFRs than White individuals among those younger than 65. CFRs varied substantially across states and time.
Disparities in COVID-19 case fatality among U.S. Black and Latinx individuals under age 65 were evident during the first year of the pandemic. Understanding racial and ethnic differences in COVID-19 CFRs is challenging due to limitations in available data.
COVID19 Statistical Summary Report for Chicagoland COVID-19 Data Commons | Funder: Center for Computational Science Research | Grant ID: 0418
COVID19 Statistical Summary Report for Chicagoland COVID-19 Data Commons | Funder: Center for Computational Science Research | Grant ID: Award Number 105223
CitationSchumm, L. P., Giurcanu, M. C., Locey, K. J., Ortega, J. C., Zhang, Z.Grossman, R. L. (2022). Racial and ethnic disparities in the observed COVID-19 case fatality rate among the U.S. population. Annals of Epidemiology, 74, 118-124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2022.07.010