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COVID-19 and Racial/Ethnic Disparities

JAMA.Published online May 11, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.8598

The novel SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) has led to a global pandemic manifested as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with its most severe presentation being acute respiratory distress syndrome leading to severe complications and death. Select underlying medical comorbidities, older age, diabetes, obesity, and male sex have been identified as biological vulnerabilities for more severe COVID-19 outcomes.1Geographic locations that reported data by race/ethnicity indicate that African American individuals and, to a lesser extent, Latino individuals bear a disproportionate burden of COVID-19–related outcomes. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on health disparities and created an opportunity to address the causes underlying these inequities.

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