IRP study highlights pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latino adults

The global COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latino individuals in the United States, causing more deaths by population size, both directly and indirectly, in these groups compared with white or Asian individuals. The findings, from a large surveillance study led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), appeared October 5, 2021, in Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Focusing on COVID-19 deaths alone without examining total excess deaths—that is, deaths due to non-COVID-19 causes as well as to COVID-19—may underestimate the true impact of the pandemic,” said Meredith S. Shiels, Ph.D., M.H.S., senior investigator in the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch in NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, who led the study. “These data highlight the profound impact of long-standing inequities.”

Scientists at NCI have a long history of tracking mortality trends in the United States, mainly focusing on cancer death rates. More recently, these investigators have been applying their expertise in analyzing national surveillance data to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on excess deaths by racial and ethnic group.

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This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022