BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has affected Blacks and Hispanics in New York City (NYC) disproportionately. This study aims to assess the relationship of race/ethnicity with COVID-19 associated factors such as hypertension, diabetes, neighborhood poverty, and frontline work, in NYC.
METHODS: The 2018 New York City Community Health Survey was used to examine the association of hypertension, diabetes, and neighborhood poverty level with race/ethnicity in log-binomial regression models. Number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and the distribution of frontline workers were acquired from the US Census, the State of New York Department of Labor, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
RESULTS: Neighborhoods with high poverty level had a greater risk of hypertension among Blacks (relative risk (RR), 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.4, 1.9-6.4) and diabetes among Hispanics (RR, 95% CI: 5.5, 2.2-14.0), compared with Whites in the lowest poverty neighborhoods. Disproportionately greater percentages of frontline workers were comprised of Blacks (29.4%, 95% CI: 29.3-29.5%) and Hispanics (35.5%, 95% CI: 35.3-35.6%). Predominantly Black and Hispanic boroughs with greater level of poverty had one ICU bed per 900 adults of 60 years of age or older, compared with one ICU bed per 452 in predominantly White boroughs with less poverty.
CONCLUSION: The greater prevalence of the factors associated with COVID-19 infection and adverse outcomes puts Black and Hispanic populations in NYC at a greater risk. These factors are also related to poverty and should be mitigated together with reducing racial/ethnic inequities.
Prevalence of comorbidities and risks associated with COVID-19 among Black and Hispanic populations in New York City: An examination of the 2018 New York City Community Health Survey
Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 8 (4), 863-869. doi: 10.1007/s40615-020-00844-1. PMCID: PMC7425794.