Infectious Disease

Black patients have the highest rate of flu-related hospitalizations in the United States

02.09.2021

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O’Halloran does not report any relevant financial information. Please refer to the study for all relevant financial information from the other authors.

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Over the course of 10 flu seasons from 2009-2010 through 2018-2019, black patients had the highest rate of influenza-associated hospitalizations in the United States, researchers in JAMA Network Open reported.

CDC epidemiologist Alissa C. O’Halloran, MSPH, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the Influenza-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network, which represents approximately 9% of the US population.

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They identified 131,908 people hospitalized with influenza during the 10 seasons and included 123,882 in the study, excluding patients whose race or ethnicity was unknown, or who had more than one race or ethnicity.

A total of 62.3% of the patients were white and 53.8% were women. Additionally, 21.6% were Black, 10.3% Hispanic American, 5.1% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 0.7% were Native American or Alaskan.

Stratified by age, the ICU admission rates were higher for any black population than for the white population: those aged 4 years or younger (RR, 2.21; 95% CI, 2.1-2.33), im Age from 5 to 17 years (RR, 1.99; 95% CI 1.88–2.11, age 18 to 49 years (RR 2.52; 95% CI 2.44–2.59), age 50–64 years (RR 2.5; 95% CI 2.43–2.57), age 65 to 74 years (RR 1.74; 95% CI 1.68-1.81) and 75 years or older (RR 1.05; 95% CI 1.02-1.09).

“Across all age groups, we found that blacks had the highest rates of hospitalization and intensive care, followed by Native American or Alaskan Native and Hispanic individuals,” the authors wrote.

However, the largest discrepancy reported by the authors was in hospital deaths, which were higher among all black populations than those over 75.

“For several influenza seasons through 2015, vaccination coverage in the general population was lower among black and Hispanic adults compared to white adults, and black and Hispanic children had lower vaccination coverage compared to white children. our results in hospitalized patients of all ages showed similar differences, ”the authors wrote.

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Race and medicine

Race and medicine

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