New insights into the burden of COVID-19 mortality for U.S. Hispanics and Blacks when examined by country/region of origin: An observational study

Paulo S. Pinheiro, Heidy N. Medina, Zelde Espinel, Erin N. Kobetz, James M. Shultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Florida's diverse population composition includes persons from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This facilitated an insightful examination of disparities in 2020 Florida COVID-19 deaths not only among racial/ethnic populations in the aggregate (non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic) but also at the level of country/region of origin. Methods: Age-adjusted mortality rates (AAMRs) for 2020 Florida COVID-19 deaths were calculated by race, ethnicity, and country/region of origin along with mean age at death, mean number of comorbidities, and percentage of decedents who had not completed secondary education. Regression-derived mortality rate ratios (MRRs) compared death rates for each racial/ethnic/country-of-origin population to non-Hispanic whites. Findings: The overall AAMR (per 100,000) for 18,342 Florida COVID-19 deaths in 2020 was 55.4, with a much lower AAMR for non-Hispanic Whites (39.3) than for Hispanics (86.8) or Blacks (107.6). Marked differences in AAMRs were observed for specific Black and Hispanic ethnic groups from varied countries/regions of origin. COVID-19 decedents from Mexico and Central America had the highest AAMRs (170.7 and 168.8 per 100,000, respectively), lowest age at death, lowest educational level, and fewest comorbidities. Mean comorbidities were highest for Blacks (all origins) and Cuban Hispanics. Interpretation: Florida Blacks and Hispanics experienced disproportionately high COVID-19 mortality rates throughout 2020, with notable variability based on country/region of origin. Inequities were particularly pronounced for Hispanic populations from Mexico and Central America. To better understand these heterogeneous COVID-19 mortality trends, more nuanced racial/ethnic analyses and detailed data on social determinants of health are needed. Funding: Supplemental funding was provided by the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Research reported in this publication was also supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P30CA240139.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100090
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Americas
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Internal Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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