By Consumers for Quality Care, on April 28, 2021
According to Gothamist, 43 percent of confirmed coronavirus fatalities among adults under 50 years old in New Jersey were Latino men, though they comprise just 12 percent of the total population.
New Jersey has seen the most severe disparities where young Hispanic men were killed by the Coronavirus at four and a half times the rate of Hispanic women, twice the rate of young Black men and seven times that of young white men.
“We are losing whole generations of fathers,” said Stephanie Silvera, an epidemiologist at Montclair State University. “And there is no way of understanding the economic, as well as the emotionally traumatic impact that that’s going to have on their families, their children, and generations to come.”
Men generally experience more severe cases of coronavirus than women, and research suggests that social determinants like occupation may explain the problem as well.
Latinos are the least likely demographic to have health insurance, and Latino men in particular are more likely to suffer from comorbidities that increase the likelihood of dying from coronavirus, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
“Health disparities have long been written off by people as the result of bad behavior. What COVID is really highlighting, in a way that cannot be ignored, is that a lot of these disparities are systemic inequalities and racial inequalities,” said Silvera, the epidemiologist. “We’re talking about access to healthy foods, access to physical activity, and safe spaces. We are talking about the impact of stress throughout a lifetime, even up to 20 years of age, and how that wears on the cardiovascular system and puts certain communities at higher risk, not just for COVID, but for a plethora of other health outcomes.”
The disparities extend to Hispanic children – 42 percent of children diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a rare condition linked to coronavirus, in New Jersey are Hispanic, and this pattern tracks nationally.
One full year into the pandemic, the Latino community still outpaces every other racial and ethnic group in terms of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and mortality rates per capita, even when adjusted for age.