Workplace exposure to the new coronavirus is a major reason for Hispanic Americans’ disproportionately high COVID-19 death rate, a new study claims.
In 2020, Hispanics accounted for 19% of the U.S. population but nearly 41% of COVID-19 deaths, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.
An analysis of federal government data revealed that far higher percentages of working-age (30-69) Hispanics died from COVID-19 than working-age whites. For example, Hispanics aged 35-44 and 55-64 had higher-than-expected proportions of deaths of 15.4 and 8 percentage points, respectively. In contrast, whites in those same age groups had mortality advantages of 23 and 17 percentage points, respectively.
A separate analysis of case estimates found a similar pattern of unequally high COVID-19 infection rates for Hispanics, meaning that the higher death rates among working-age Hispanics is consistent with greater exposure to the virus, according to the authors. The study was published recently in the journal Demographic Research.
“There was no evidence before this paper that really demonstrated that the excess cases were precisely in these working age groups,” said study co-author Reanne Frank, a professor of sociology at Ohio State University.