Study Finds No Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Case Fatality Rates at Montefiore,...

Study Finds No Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Case Fatality Rates at Montefiore, When Controlling for Key Risk Factors

- Research by Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that Black and Hispanic patients had a higher occurrence of pre-existing conditions and higher rates of hospitalization - For more than 20 years, Montefiore and Einstein have been leaders in evaluating the impact of socioeconomic status on care outcomes


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BRONX, New York, Sept. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — A study from Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine published today in JAMA Network Open found that among 5,902 ethnically diverse COVID-19-positive patients admitted to Montefiore Medical Center, the outcomes for Black and Hispanic patients relative to their White counterparts were the same or better.

The study shows that Black and Hispanic patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 presented with more pre-existing conditions, also known as comorbidities, as well as other risk factors. However, researchers found that Black and Hispanic patients had survival rates at least as good as their non-Hispanic White counterparts, when controlling for age, sex, socioeconomic status and comorbidities. Similar data trends have been shown in patients hospitalized in other major health systems in Louisiana and the Midwest.

“It is well-documented that communities of color have shouldered the heaviest burden of COVID-19 in the United States, and there have been many explanations offered for why that is the case,” said Andrew D. Racine, M.D., Ph.D., system senior vice president and chief medical officer at Montefiore and professor of pediatrics at Einstein. “We discovered, somewhat surprisingly, that Black and Hispanic patients, when hospitalized, had similar or slightly better survival outcomes compared to White patients.”

According to the study’s authors, these results are important because they suggest that “access to the services available in comprehensive health care environments may attenuate, if not eliminate, racial/ethnic differentials in COVID-19 mortality rates.” The study results suggest that, across racial and ethnic groups, higher mortality rates were primarily driven by older age and the presence of multiple comorbidities, including chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease that are prevalent in Black and Hispanic communities served by Montefiore | Einstein.

Black and Hispanic patients were found more likely to require hospital stays than their White counterparts and had a higher proportion of two or more medical comorbidities–38% and 43% respectively–compared to their White counterparts at 34%. “For patients in this study, the influence of race and ethnicity on COVID outcomes stopped at the hospital door,” explained Dr. Racine.

“The fact that racial disparities may be lessened or eliminated when people with COVID-19 enter a hospital is a stark reminder that we need to increase our focus on what is happening outside our hospitals,” said Rafi Kabarriti, M.D., attending physician, Montefiore and assistant professor of radiation oncology at Einstein.  “This includes better access to primary care, and education about preventing and effectively managing chronic diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal disease, and dementia.”

About Montefiore Health System
Montefiore Health System is one of New York’s premier academic health systems and is a recognized leader in providing exceptional quality and personalized, accountable care to approximately three million people in communities across the Bronx, Westchester and the Hudson Valley. It is comprised of 11 hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and more than 200 outpatient ambulatory care sites. The advanced clinical and translational research at its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, directly informs patient care and improves outcomes. From the Montefiore-Einstein Centers of Excellence in cancer, cardiology and vascular care, pediatrics, and transplantation, to its preeminent school-based health program, Montefiore is a fully integrated healthcare delivery system providing coordinated, comprehensive care to patients and their families. For more information please visit www.montefiore.org. Follow us on Twitter and view us on Facebook and YouTube.

About Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine is one of the nation’s premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. During the 2019-20 academic year, Einstein is home to 724 M.D. students, 158 Ph.D. students, 106 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and 265 postdoctoral research fellows. The College of Medicine has more than 1,800 full-time faculty members located on the main campus and at its clinical affiliates. In 2019, Einstein received more than $178 million in awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in aging, intellectual development disorders, diabetes, cancer, clinical and translational research, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Its partnership with Montefiore, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. Einstein runs one of the largest residency and fellowship training programs in the medical and dental professions in the United States through Montefiore and an affiliation network involving hospitals and medical centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn and on Long Island. For more information, please visit www.einstein.yu.edu, read our blog, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and view us on YouTube.

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SOURCE Montefiore Health System; Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Study Finds No Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Case Fatality Rates at Montefiore, When Controlling for Key Risk Factors