Infectious Disease

Black, Spanish, or Latin American adults are twice as prone to report poor entry to COVID-19

January 28, 2021

2 min read

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Disclosure:
Kaufman works for Quest Diagnostics and owns shares in Quest Diagnostics.

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According to an online survey, black and Hispanic or Latin American people in the US are twice as likely to report that their access to COVID-19 treatments, vaccines, and health care is worse than those of other races or ethnic groups.

The Harris poll conducted a nationally representative online survey of adults in the United States that also found that 67% of Hispanics or Latinx, 59% of Whites, and 58% of Black Americans said they skipped personal health care due to the pandemic or to delay.

Harvey W. Kaufman

“We need to get people not only to get vaccinated, but also to receive routine health care.” Harvey W. Kaufman, MD, Healio, Senior Medical Director and Head of Health Trends Research Program at Quest Diagnostics. The survey was carried out on behalf of Quest.

“There are people who are missing mammograms, colonoscopies, lab tests, and vaccinations,” Kaufman said. “If you skip these health services for now and hope everything is okay, some people won’t be diagnosed until they are at an advanced stage. This means more intensive therapy that is less effective and more people die as a consequence. “

The researchers surveyed 2,050 adults aged 18 years or older between November 10 and 12. Participants included 337 Spanish or Latin American, 265 black, and 1,278 white US adults. Researchers weighted survey data by gender, age, region, education, household size, marital status, and household income by race or ethnicity to adequately represent the proportions in the population.

Poll results showed that 22% of blacks, 19% of Hispanics or Latinx, and 10% of whites said their access to advanced COVID-19 treatments or therapies was worse than members of other racial groups. In addition, 15% of blacks, 17% of Hispanics or Latinx, and 8% of whites said their access to diagnostic tests for the virus was worse than other racial groups.

Previous research has shown that ethnic minorities are at higher risk for COVID-19 and that black and Hispanic patients with rheumatic disease and COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized than white patients.

Kaufman said survey results for COVID-19 paralleled differences in access to health care in general and that public health news should encourage individuals that routine health care is “best for them” during the pandemic.

“Health professionals understand – they know how to make an environment safe,” he said. “We have to face these fears with facts.”

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