University of Michigan Study Highlights COVID-19-Related Racial Health Disparities

The research finds that 73% of Black respondents suffered severe or very severe symptoms (61% for white respondents), while disproportionately experiencing more overnight hospital stays.

A new University of Michigan study explores the effect of racial disparities on individuals who contract COVID-19. It illustrates that non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic white residents have different experiences when dealing with the disease.

The study finds that 45% of Black coronavirus patients required overnight hospital stays — almost twice the percentage of white patients. The research also shows that 23% of Black respondents were afraid to share their coronavirus diagnoses with friends and family.

“This involves promoting justice and realizing that some groups are more so burdened by the disease.” — Delvon Mattingly, University of Michigan

Delvon Mattingly is a PhD student at the University of Michigan School of Public Health who helped conduct the study. He says socioeconomic factors like population density could contribute to the numbers.

“Racial ethnic health inequities in the U.S. have persisted long before the COVID-19 pandemic and they’ve become more evident than ever as we learn about the extent that COVID-19 disproportionately impacts minority groups,” says Mattingly.

Mattingly says the research highlights issues that should be addressed during vaccine rollouts.

“This involves promoting justice,” says Mattingly, “and realizing that certain groups are more so burdened by the disease than these groups, maybe, that are targeted by the state.”

Click on the player above to hear University of Michigan PhD student Delvon Mattingly discuss COVID-19 related racial health inequities.

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  • Alex McLenon
    Alex McLenon is a Reporter with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.