PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has exposed preexisting racial disparities in the healthcare system. This review discusses racial-ethnic differences in COVID-19 related outcomes with an emphasis on the social determinants of health that are responsible for these disparities. RECENT FINDINGS: Higher hospitalizations and deaths have been reported amongst minority individuals after a COVID-19 infection. Cardiovascular disease and its risk factors are also more common in minority populations and negatively impact clinical outcomes after a COVID-19 illness. The racial disparities seen after COVID-19 infections appear to be driven by multiple preexisting comorbidities, adverse socioeconomic conditions, and lack of access to healthcare. These disadvantages were present before the COVID-19 pandemic. To effectively reduce disparities in outcomes of COVID-19 and the impact of the virus on minority communities, a multifaceted approach will be needed. SUMMARY: Government-backed policies that foster health equity and promote easily accessible testing and fair distribution of COVID-19 therapies and vaccines are necessary to successfully combat racial disparities in COVID-19 outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine