A recent study has found that Latinx people are more vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. According to the researchers who conducted the study believe that the economic necessity to continue working outside the home during the pandemic and crowded living conditions have contributed to higher rates of infection among Latinx communities.
They also note that Latinx people in the United States are less likely than those of other racial or ethnic groups to have health insurance.
“It is clear that the systematic exclusion of this population from healthcare services has contributed to the disparities we see today,” study author Dr. Kathleen R. Page, an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, MD, was quoted as saying by Medical News Today.
Many of the patients included in the study was treated by Dr. Page.
“This pandemic has taught us that we are all interconnected,” she says. “At the very least, we must engage with communities early and provide [language-appropriate] and culturally appropriate information and services, removing as many barriers to care as possible.”
The research, which has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), involved a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the university’s Center for Data Science in Emergency Medicine.
The researchers examined results of tests for COVID-19, at 30 outpatient clinics in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and five Johns Hopkins Health System hospitals. All the tests were carried out between March 11 and May 25, 2020.
6,162 tests (16.3 per cent), out of total 37,727 performed, were positive for the new coronavirus. The occurrence of positive tests by ethnic and racial grouping was 42.6 per cent for Latinx people, 17.6 per cent for Black people, 17.2 per cent for people identified as “other,” and 8.8 per cent for white people.
Unusually for this infection, the majority of the Latinx patients who tested positive, 61.5 per cent were relatively young, aged 18–44 years.