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COVID-19 and African Americans

Educational Objective
To understand how COVID-19 is affecting the African American Community
1 Credit CME

Much has been published in leading medical journals about the phenomenon of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. The resulting condition, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has had a societal effect comparable only to the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. As the flow of clinical science has better informed the contemporary narratives, more is being learned about which individuals and groups experience the most dire complications. Researchers have emphasized older age, male sex, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, concomitant cardiovascular diseases (including coronary artery disease and heart failure), and myocardial injury as important risk factors associated with worse outcomes; specifically, case-fatality rates vary over 100%.13 These data sourced from China and Europe have not been replicated in the US, but the US experience may nevertheless represent similarly distressing outcomes in these highest-risk phenotypes.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Clyde W. Yancy, MD, MSc, Division of Cardiology, Northwestern University, FSM, 676 N St Clair, Chicago, IL 60611 (cyancy@nm.org).

Published Online: April 15, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.6548

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Additional Contributions: I thank Kristin T. Yancy and Nina M. Yancy for their review of the manuscript.

References
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Bonow  RO , Fonarow  GC , O’Gara  PT , Yancy  CW .  Association of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with myocardial injury and mortality.   JAMA Cardiol. Published online March 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2020.1105PubMedGoogle Scholar
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Grasselli  G , Zangrillo  A , Zanella  A ,  et al; COVID-19 Lombardy ICU Network.  Baseline characteristics and outcomes of 1591 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 admitted to ICUs of the Lombardy region, Italy.   JAMA. Published online April 6, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.5394PubMedGoogle Scholar
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Thebault  R , Ba Tran  A , Williams  V . The coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate. Washington Post. April 7, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/07/coronavirus-is-infecting-killing-black-americans-an-alarmingly-high-rate-post-analysis-shows/
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Reyes C, Husain N, Gutowski C, St Clair S, Pratt G. Chicago’s coronavirus disparity: black Chicagoans are dying at nearly six times the rate of white residents, data show. Chicago Tribune. Published April 7, 2020. Accessed April 12, 2020. https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-coronavirus-chicago-coronavirus-deaths-demographics-lightfoot-20200406-77nlylhiavgjzb2wa4ckivh7mu-story.html
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New York State Department of Health. COVID-19 fatalities. Updated April 11, 2020. Accessed April 12, 2020. https://covid19tracker.health.ny.gov/views/NYS-COVID19-Tracker/NYSDOHCOVID-19Tracker-Fatalities?%3Aembed=yes&%3Atoolbar=no&%3Atabs=n
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