The following is an excerpt from a Rutgers Today story about a Rutgers study led by New Jersey Medical School associate professor Michelle DallaPiazza that examines the association between COVID-19 mortality racial disparities and social factors:
COVID-19 mortality racial disparities in the U.S. are associated with social factors like income, education, and internet access, according to a Rutgers study.
The study, published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, highlights the need for public health policies that address structural racism.
The researchers investigated the association between COVID-19 cases and deaths in 2,026 U.S. counties from January to October 2020 and social determinants of health, which can raise the risk for infection and death.
They also looked at factors known or thought to impact COVID-19 outcomes, including the counties’ population density, days since the first COVID-19 death and percent of residents who are over age 65, are smokers or who have chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or high blood pressure.