Black Americans represent only 13.4% of the American population, according to the US Census Bureau, but account for more than half of all Covid-19 cases and nearly 60% of deaths, the study found.
Gaps, including access to health care, tend to be blamed, the researchers concluded in a report released Tuesday.
A team of epidemiologists and doctors at four universities worked with amfAR, the non-profit AIDS research, and the Seattle Vaccine Access and Innovation Center, PATH, to analyze cases and deaths of Covid-19 using regional level comparisons. Racial data is still lacking in many fields, and their analysis uses what data was available in mid-April.
They compared districts with a disproportionate black population – those with populations of 13% or more – with those with lower African American populations. Countries with a higher black population make up 52% of coronavirus diagnoses and 58% of Covid-19 deaths nationally, they said.
“Social conditions, structural racism, and other factors increase the risk of COVID-19 diagnosis and death in the black community,” write scientists from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, University of Mississippi Georgetown University’s O’Neill Medical Center and Institute for National and Global Health Law.
“Structural factors including access to health care, household density, unemployment, widespread discrimination and others drive this difference, not the intrinsic characteristics of the black community or individual level factors.”
From more than 3,100 countries that researchers observed with coronavirus and death cases from late January to mid-April, they found a greater percentage of black districts disproportionately located in the South. African-American populations range from 13% of the total area to 87%.
“Deaths of COVID-19 are higher in rural black areas and disproportionately small metro cities,” the study said.
Research shows that on April 13, there were 283,750 diagnoses of Covid-19 in black countries that were disproportionate and 12,748 deaths compared with 263,640 cases of corona virus and 8,886 deaths in all other countries.
“Collectively, these data show a significantly higher diagnosis of COVID-19 and mortality in the black region that is disproportionate compared to other districts, as well as a greater diagnosis of diabetes, heart disease death, and cerebrovascular disease death in an unadjusted analysis , “the authors concluded.
The research, which has not been reviewed by colleagues, is currently being considered by medical journals and has not yet been published.