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The Healthy Brain and Child Development Study—Shedding Light on Opioid Exposure, COVID-19, and Health Disparities

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic highlights longstanding health disparities in the United States. African American individuals contract the disease at much higher rates than White individuals and are nearly twice as likely to die of it. Hispanic/Latinx people and American Indian and Alaska Native people are also overrepresented among confirmed cases.1 Structural racism fosters vast inequalities among individuals of color, including economic disadvantage as a result of low-paying jobs, discrimination in education and the workforce, underrepresentation in research,2 and lack of access to adequate health care and healthy foods. These and other associated factors, including the higher prevalence of comorbid conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, contribute to the greater morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 infection in Black, Latinx, and American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Michelle P. Freund, PhD, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, 3WFN RM 09C71 MSC 6021, 301 N Stonestreet Ave, Bethesda, MD 20892 (freundm@mail.nih.gov)

Published Online: December 9, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.3803

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Additional Contributions: We thank Eric M. Wargo, PhD, National Institute on Drug Abuse Office of Science Policy and Communication, for providing writing support. Dr Wargo did not receive special compensation for his help with writing because this is part of his normal duties.

References
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National Institutes of Health. Healthy Brain and Child Development Study. Published 2020. Accessed November 5, 2020. https://heal.nih.gov/research/infants-and-children/healthy-brain
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