NAU Study: COVID-19 Hit Predominantly Black, Hispanic Nursing Homes Harder

Published: Monday, March 22, 2021 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, March 22, 2021 - 12:32pm
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More than a third of all deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. have been in nursing homes, and new research from Northern Arizona University shows nursing homes that serve higher proportions of racial and ethnic minority residents have been hit especially hard. 

Researchers compiled data from nursing homes across the United States. They found facilities with predominantly Black residents saw higher rates of COVID-19 deaths. Nursing homes that serve more Hispanic residents also saw disproportionately high mortality.

"There's a long history of racial disparities in nursing home care," said Amit Kumar, assistant professor on the NAU Phoenix Biomedical Campus. “Black individuals are more likely to be admitted into lower quality nursing homes with lower staffing ratios and nursing homes with poor patient outcomes."

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Disparities among nursing home deaths were most evident earlier on in the pandemic. The study showed demographic trends shifted and predominantly white nursing homes were also hard hit in later months.

The research will be published in April in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

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