"Health disparities" refer to the negative differences in health status and outcomes among different population groups; e.g., race/ethnicity, economic status, education level, and sex. This guide was created in order to provide information about the histo


Health Disparities



Excess Deaths Associated with COVID-19, by Age and Race and Ethnicity — United States, January 26–October 3, 2020

COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups - "The effects of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minority groups is still emerging; however, current data suggest a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups."




Contribution of Individual- and Neighborhood-Level Social, Demographic, and Health Factors to COVID-19 Hospitalization Outcomes. Tipirneni R, Karmakar M, O'Malley M, Prescott HC, Chopra V. Ann Intern Med. 2022 Feb 22

DOI: 10.7326/M21-2615, PMID: 35188790

Amy Schoenfeld Walker, Anjali Singhvi, Josh Holder, Robert Gebeloff and Yuriria Avila. Pandemic’s Racial Disparities Persist in Vaccine Rollout. New York Times. 

Abedi V, Olulana O, Avula V, et al. Racial, Economic and Health Inequality and COVID-19 Infection in the United States. Preprint. medRxiv. 2020;2020.04.26.20079756. Published 2020 May 1. doi:10.1101/2020.04.26.20079756 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32511647/


Alobuia WM, Dalva-Baird NP, Forrester JD, Bendavid E, Bhattacharya J, Kebebew E. Racial disparities in knowledge, attitudes and practices related to COVID-19 in the USA [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 3]. J Public Health (Oxf). 2020;fdaa069. doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdaa069  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32490519/


Anyane-Yeboa A, Sato T, Sakuraba A. Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Deaths Reveal Harsh Truths About Structural Inequality in America [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 25]. J Intern Med. 2020;10.1111/joim.13117. doi:10.1111/joim.13117 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32452046/


Azar KMJ, Shen Z, Romanelli RJ, et al. Disparities In Outcomes Among COVID-19 Patients In A Large Health Care System In California [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 21]. Health Aff (Millwood). 2020;101377hlthaff202000598. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00598 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32437224/


Begley, S. To understand who’s dying of Covid-19, look to social factors like race more than preexisting diseases. StatNews. 2020, June 15. https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/15/whos-dying-of-covid19-look-to-social-factors-like-race/


Cyrus E, Clarke R, Hadley D, et al. The impact of COVID-19 on African American communities in the United States. Preprint. medRxiv. 2020;2020.05.15.20096552. Published 2020 May 19. doi:10.1101/2020.05.15.20096552 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32511486/


Delan Devakumar, Geordan Shannon, Sunil S Bhopal, Ibrahim Abubakar. Racism and discrimination in COVID-19 responses,
The Lancet, Volume 395, Issue 10231, 2020, Page 1194, ISSN 0140-6736, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30792-3.
Duane AM, Stokes KL, DeAngelis CL, Bocknek EL. Collective trauma and community support: Lessons from Detroit [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 11]. Psychol Trauma. 2020;10.1037/tra0000791. doi:10.1037/tra0000791 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32525364/
Goldstein JR, Atherwood S. Improved measurement of racial/ethnic disparities in COVID-19 mortality in the United States. Preprint. medRxiv. 2020;2020.05.21.20109116. Published 2020 May 23. doi:10.1101/2020.05.21.20109116 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32511557/
Harlem G, Lynn M. Descriptive analysis of social determinant factors in urban communities affected by COVID-19 [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 12]. J Public Health (Oxf). 2020;fdaa078. doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdaa078 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32530033/ 
Hu S, Luo W, Darzi A, Pan Y, Zhao G, Liu Y, & Xiong C (2021, November 11). Do racial and ethnic disparities in following stay-at-home orders influence COVID-19 health outcomes? A mediation analysis approach. PloS One, 16(11), e0259803 - 1. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0259803

Keshavan, Meghana. ‘The direct result of racism’: Covid-19 lays bare how discrimination drives health disparities among Black people. StatNews. 2020, June 9. https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/09/systemic-racism-black-health-disparities/

Krishnan L, Ogunwole SM, Cooper LA. Historical Insights on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, and Racial Disparities: Illuminating a Path Forward [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 5]. Ann Intern Med. 2020;10.7326/M20-2223. doi:10.7326/M20-2223 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32501754/
Laurencin CT, McClinton A. The COVID-19 Pandemic: a Call to Action to Identify and Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2020;7(3):398‐402. doi:10.1007/s40615-020-00756-0   https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32306369/
Mahajan UV, Larkins-Pettigrew M. Racial demographics and COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths: a correlational analysis of 2886 US counties [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 21]. J Public Health (Oxf). 2020;fdaa070. doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdaa070https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32435809/
Merlin Chowkwanyun, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Adolph L. Reed, Jr., Ph.D. (2020, May 6). Racial Health Disparities and Covid-19 — Caution and Context. New England Journal of Medicinehttps://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30792-3
Rentsch CT, Kidwai-Khan F, Tate JP, et al. Covid-19 by Race and Ethnicity: A National Cohort Study of 6 Million United States Veterans. Preprint. medRxiv. 2020;2020.05.12.20099135. Published 2020 May 18. doi:10.1101/2020.05.12.20099135 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32511524/
Sy KTL, Martinez ME, Rader B, White LF. Socioeconomic disparities in subway use and COVID-19 outcomes in New York City. Preprint. medRxiv. 2020;2020.05.28.20115949. Published 2020 May 30. doi:10.1101/2020.05.28.20115949  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32511568/
Wiemers EE, Abrahams S, AlFakhri M, Hotz VJ, Schoeni RF, Seltzer JA. Disparities in Vulnerability to Severe Complications from COVID-19 in the United States. Preprint. medRxiv. 2020;2020.05.28.20115899. Published 2020 May 30. doi:10.1101/2020.05.28.20115899 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32511522/
Wolfson JA, Leung CW. Food Insecurity and COVID-19: Disparities in Early Effects for US Adults. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):E1648. Published 2020 Jun 2. doi:10.3390/nu12061648 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32498323/
Yaya S, Yeboah H, Charles CH, Otu A, Labonte R. Ethnic and racial disparities in COVID-19-related deaths: counting the trees, hiding the forest. BMJ Glob Health. 2020;5(6):e002913. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2020-002913 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32513864/


The COVID Racial Data Tracker 
"COVID-19 is affecting Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color the most.
The COVID Racial Data Tracker is a collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project and the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Together, we’re gathering the most complete and up-to-date race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 in the United States."


The Johns Hopkins University virus website
"This map shows the U.S. states that have released Covid-19 data by race, broken down into three critical categories: confirmed cases, deaths, and testing. It is essential that policy-makers and other decision-makers have access to these data to inform their response to the pandemic. It is also important that these data are released publicly to shed light on the intersecting forces of racial disparities, underlying conditions, and poverty that affect how the virus spreads throughout the U.S."

COVID-19 Racial Disparities in U.S. Counties
"Roughly one in five counties nationally is disproportionately black and only represent 35% of the US population, but we found that these counties accounted for nearly half of COVID-19 cases and 58% of COVID-19 deaths. Structural factors including health care access, density of households, unemployment , pervasive discrimination and others drive these disparities, not intrinsic characteristics of black communities or individual-level factors. This webpage provides additional information on these counties at greater risk for COVID-19 through graphs and maps, and data are updated daily."


"Our ongoing Color of Coronavirus project monitors how and where COVID-19 mortality is inequitably impacting certain communities—to guide policy and community responses to these disproportionate deaths."


Testimony. Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, President, American Nurses Association. "Disparate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color". House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means. May 27, 2020.


Testimony. Human Rights Watch. "Covid-19 Disparities Reflect Structural Racism, Abuses". US House of Representatives, Committee on  Ways and Means. June 10, 2020.


Testimony. American Medical Association. "The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color". House of Representatives,  Committee on Ways and Means. June 8, 2020





Podcasts and Podcast Episodes

Addressing Structural Racism and Systemic Inequities During COVID-19, an episode of Oncology Overdrive.
"In this episode, we discuss the two public health crises currently facing the nation, structural racism and its impact on health care, and a path forward."


Racial Disparities in Treating (And Policing) Covid-19- an episode of the The Brian Lehrer Show 
"Dr. Mary Bassett, Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, as well as professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, talks about the longstanding health and socio-economic disparities that have made minorities more vulnerable to Covid-19."


COVID-19 Chapter 8: Disparities- part of a series on the pandemic from - This Podcast Will Kill You
"Dr. Jonathan Whittall, Director of Analysis at Medicines Sans Frontières (aka Doctors Without Borders) joins us to talk about the challenges faced by the most vulnerable populations during this crisis and how MSF is working to overcome those challenges while bracing for the pandemic’s impact..."


Ep. 38: Disparities, with Freda Lewis-Hall- an episode of  "Conversations with Mike Milken"
"Trained as a psychiatrist, Dr Lewis-Hall is particularly concerned about the impact COVID-19 is having on communities who are disproportionately affected with higher mortality rates, and who perform much of what we now consider essential frontline work."


Episode 86: Racial Disparities in COVID – Student Dr. Paul, Dr. Essien & Dr. Manning - an episode of "The Clinical Problem Solvers"
"Student Dr. Dereck Paul, Dr. Utibe Essien and Dr. Kimberly Manning join the CPSolvers to discuss racial disparities in COVID."


327: Another Burden to Bear: A History of Racial Health Disparities in America- an episode of "Back Story".
"The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted  communities of color. According to the CDC, 33% of people who’ve been hospitalized due to the virus have been African-American, despite making up only 18% of the population. The ongoing crisis is a reminder of the racial health disparities that have plagued the United States throughout its history. So on this episode of BackStory, Joanne and Brian learn about how different communities have struggled to acquire adequate health care."


Disparities Brought to the Forefront as COVID-19 Spreads: What the Physical Therapy Profession Can Do, an episode of APTA Podcasts (American Physical Therapists Association). 
"APTA hosted experts in physical therapy and public health to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on the United States, including how the pandemic interacts with existing geographic, economic, racial, and age-related health disparities. Speakers explored the roles the physical therapy community can play in mitigating not only COVID-19, but health disparities in general."


The United States of Anxiety (WNYC): Why Covid-19 is Killing Black People https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/anxiety/episodes/why-covid-black-people


The Daily (NYT): Why is the Pandemic Killing So Many Black Americans?


Post Reports (Washington Post): The failure to protect Black Americans from COVID-19


The Ezra Klein Show (Vox): Why the coronavirus is so deadly for Black America

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