Health Disparities, COVID-19, and Owning Our Share

  • Publication Date :
  • Publication Type : Journal Article
  • Author(s) : Pettit SD
  • Journal Name : Toxicological Sciences

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many frightened, saddened, and angered at its impact on our lives and the world around us. The disease has laid bare failures to protect our citizens generally but our vulnerable and underserved most of all. Growing evidence reveals that minority and low-income populations are experiencing disproportionate morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 – sometimes with 2 or 3 times the mortality rate of their peers in the same age bracket (Abrams & Szefler, 2020; Moore et al., 2020; Tai et al., 2020). The interplay of pre-existing and chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension (many of which themselves have complex genetic as well as environmental etiologies) along with socio-economic factors such as high-density living conditions, jobs requiring on-site attendance, under/un-insured status, environmental exposures, and/or insufficient access to quality healthcare have created catastrophic outcomes for many populations.

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