HealthDay News — There is considerable variation in the rates of COVID-19 testing, hospitalization, and deaths across New York City boroughs, according to a research letter published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Rishi K. Wadhera, MD, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues examined population characteristics across the 5 New York City boroughs and examined differences in the rates of COVID-19 testing, hospitalizations, and deaths in these communities.

The researchers found the lowest and highest proportions of older adults (aged ≥65 years) in the Bronx and Manhattan (12.8% and 16.5%, respectively); the highest and lowest proportions of black or African Americans were seen in the Bronx and Staten Island (38.3% and 11.5%, respectively). The Bronx also had the lowest household median income ($38,467). There was variation in the number of COVID-19 tests performed per 100,000 population among New York City boroughs (4599 in the Bronx; 2970 in Brooklyn; 2844 in Manhattan; 3800 in Queens; and 5,03 in Staten Island). The numbers of patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized per 100,000 population were highest and lowest in the Bronx and Manhattan (634 and 331, respectively). The highest and lowest numbers of deaths related to COVID-19 per 100,000 population were in the Bronx and Manhattan (224 and 122, respectively).

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“Further studies are needed to examine whether the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 is being borne by lower income and minority communities in other regions of the United States,” the authors write.

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