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Impact of Residential Neighborhood and Race/Ethnicity on Outcomes of Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 in the Bronx

By Dwayvania Miller, Amara Sarwal, Bo Yu, Edgar Gomez, Victor Perez-Gutierrez, Marcia Gossai, Elisenda Valdez, Astrid Mendez, Sarah Chaudry, Usha Venugopal, Vihren Dimitrov, Moiz Kasubhai, Vidya Menon

Posted 12 Jan 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.01.09.21249515

The socially vulnerable have been most affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, similar to the aftermath of any major disaster. Racial and social minorities are experiencing a disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of residential location/community and race/ethnicity on outcomes of COVID-19 infection among hospitalized patients within the Bronx. This was a single center retrospective observational cohort study that included SARS-CoV2 positive adult residents of the Bronx (stratified as residents of South Bronx vs Rest of Bronx) hospitalized between March-May 2020. Data extracted from hospital electronic medical records included residential addresses, race, comorbidities, and insurance details. Comorbidity burden other clinical and laboratory details were also assessed to determine their correlation to COVID-19 severity of illness and outcomes of mortality and length of stay. As expected, the COVID-19 pandemic differentially affected outcomes in those in the more socially disadvantaged area of the South Bronx versus the rest of the Bronx borough. Residents of the South Bronx had a significantly higher comorbidity burden and had public insurance to access medical care in comparison to the remainder of the Bronx. Interestingly, for the patient population studied there was no observed difference in 30-day mortality by race/ethnicity among those infected with COVID-19 in spite of the increased disease burden observed. This adds an interesting perspective to the current literature, and highlights the need to address the social/economic factors contributing to health access disparity to reduce the adverse impact of COVID-19 in these communities.

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