Stanford-led Study Reveals Black and Hispanics Fall Sick in Greater Numbers Proportionately & Death Rates a Function of Hospital

Stanford-led Study Reveals Black and Hispanics Fall Sick in Greater Numbers Proportionately & Death Rates a Function of Hospital TrialsiteN

Blacks and Hispanic people make up 58% of all people hospitalized for COVID-19 and 53% of those who passed away due to this horrific virus. Combined the population makes up 31.9% of the total American population (13.4% African American and 18.5% Hispanic). It would appear that hospital is also correlated with death rate. These findings originate from a recent study led by researchers at Stanford University of Medicine and Duke University.

The Study

With the results published Nov. 17 in Circulation, senior study authors include Fatima Rodriguez, MD, assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford (lead author) and Tracy Wang, MD, professor of medicine at Duke University. In this particular study the research team didn’t find much difference among  racial or ethnic groups hospitalized with the virus however a great disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic people were infected enough to become hospitalized and they represented 53% of inpatient deaths.

The team sampled 7,868 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at 88 hospitals across the U.S. between Jan. 17 and July 22. Study data originated from the American Heart Association’s COVID-19 Cardiovascular Disease Registry. They found that the average mortality rate for all patients.

The Hospital Makes a Difference

Noteworthy, this study team found that hospital and not race and ethnicity was tied to mortality rates. Dr. Rodriguez reported, “Interestingly, more of the variations in mortality were explained by the site of the care than by race or ethnicity.” The Stanford investigator continued, “We need to understand more about differences between hospitals. Is it different treatment protocols that are rapidly evolving during the pandemic? Or perhaps minority-serving hospitals have different resources? This is an active area of research within  the registry used for this study as we enroll more sites across the country.”

Blacks & Hispanics Fall to SARS-CoV-2 Younger

Black and Hispanic patients overall fell ill to COVID-19 at younger ages than white patients or Asians.  The average age for a white patient was 69, Asian 64 while Hispanic was 60 and Black 57. Not surprisingly, Black and Hispanic patients came into the hospital with more comorbidity conditions such as obesity, hypertension or diabetes. These two groups had higher rates of mechanical ventilation and renal replacement therapy and the lowest rates of remdesivir usage at 6.1% reports Tracie White with Stanford’s Office of Communications.

Study Funding

This study was funded by the American Heart Association, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Other Research Centers

In addition to Stanford and Duke University researchers from University of Texas Southwestern, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; the Minneapolis Heart Institute; Columbia University; the American Heart Association; Emory University; Providence Heart Institute in Portland, Oregon; UC San Francisco; and Northwestern University.


Among other elements the study was limited to major urban medical centers.

Lead Research/Investigator

Fatima Rodriguez, MD, assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford (lead author)

Tracy Wang, MD, professor of medicine at Duke University.