The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study showing that the pandemic has disproportionately affected ethnic groups in the United States, and continues to deepen health disparities in the country.
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Long-standing inequalities have increased the risk for severe COVID-19 illnesses and death for many Americans, causing disparities between racial and ethnic minority groups and non-Hispanic white people.
American Indian and Alaska Native people were 3.7 times more likely than non-Hispanic white people to be hospitalized, and 2.4 times more likely to die from COVID-19 infection. Black people were 2.9 times more likely than non-Hispanic white people to be hospitalized and 1.9 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Hispanic and Latino people were 3.1 times more likely than non-Hispanic white people to be hospitalized and 2.3 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
The CDC study shows that among people under the age of 25, COVID-19 case incidence disparities were higher among most racial and ethnic minority groups, particularly earlier in 2020.
Social determinants of health contribute to racial and ethnic minority groups being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Discrimination, which includes racism and associated chronic stress, influences each of these social determinants as well.
"We all have a role to play and must work together to ensure that people have resources to maintain and manage their physical and mental health, including easy access to information, affordable testing, vaccinations, and medical care," the CDC study said.
Ensuring equitable and timely access to preventive measures, including testing, safe work, and education settings, and vaccination when eligible is important to address racial and ethnic disparities.