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Thursday, September 16, 2021

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Hispanics have seen higher mortality rates due to COVID-19


Hispanics have seen higher mortality rates due to the coronavirus in Houston and Harris County. | Juana Garcia

Hispanics have seen higher mortality rates due to the coronavirus in Houston and Harris County, according to UH’s eighth pandemic gender snapshot. 

The Institute for Research on Women, Gender & Sexuality has been collecting and analyzing data on how the pandemic deaths have varied across race, gender and age.

Since the start of the pandemic, 3,410 COVID-19 adult deaths were reported in Houston and Harris County, of which, 1,608 deaths were Hispanic. 

Overall, men have had higher mortality rates than women per the Houston and Harris County data analyzed.

Hispanic men have died from the virus at a rate 58% higher than non-Hispanic white men, 71% higher than Asian men, and 26% higher than Black men. Additionally, Black men have died at a 26% higher rate than white men, and 36% higher than Asian men, as of March 8. 

The snapshot speculates that differences in mortality rates can possibly be attributed to a combination of higher rates of frontline employment, as well as dense living conditions for Black and Hispanic populations. 

Also, the population of Hispanic and Black frontline employees that died from COVID-19 is higher than white and Asian populations. 

People over 70 also encapsulate the majority of COVID-19 deaths in Houston and Harris County and globally. This population made up over 1,882 of the 3,410 COVID-19 deaths. 

The institute’s snapshot poses class/income level disparities among races and ethnicities could help address the inequity in these mortality rates. They concluded their report by calling for Texas to expand access to Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. 

“If we’re turning it away, we have to wonder if there isn’t some effort in play here to keep some people poor and ill?” said the report. “The State Legislature could pass such expansion in the 2021 session and the subject deserves wide consideration.”

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