MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Researchers at the University of Minnesota say they’ve found “significant disparities” in COVID-19 hospitalizations when comparing racial and ethnic groups in states that track hospital data.
The researchers at the Carlson School of Management recently tracked 12 states — including Minnesota — over a two-month period, reviewing nearly 49,000 hospitalizations. They found that in most of the states Black and Hispanic populations were hospitalized for the novel coronavirus at rates higher than their white counterparts and disproportionate to their share of the population.
The situation was reversed for Asian Americans, who were hospitalized as rates below their relative size in the population.
According to the study, which was published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, all of the states analyzed had Black populations with disproportionate COVID-19 hospitalizations. All but one state had Hispanic populations with disproportionate hospitalizations.
In regards to Minnesota, specifically, Blacks made up nearly 25% of COVID-19 hospitalizations over the study period while being only about 7% of the state’s population. The researchers note, however, that the analysis doesn’t adjust for age, sex, comorbidities or socioeconomic factors.
Besides Minnesota, the 12 states that track how different racial and ethnic groups are hospitalized are Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
The researchers say their study highlights the need for all states to report and track this data so as to better understand why the pandemic is disproportionately affecting different communities and thereby come up with possible solutions.