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Asian residents in Bay Area more likely to be hospitalized with COVID

A new study has found that Asian residents in California’s Bay Area are more likely to be hospitalized with COVID than other groups, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco co-authored the study, which was published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities on Tuesday. It builds on earlier research that analyzed health records for 130,000 UCSF patients from the nine Bay Area counties during 2020.

The earlier study revealed that in 2020 Asian residents with COVID had a hospitalization rate of 11.5%, compared to 9.3% for Black patients, 6.9% for Hispanic patients and 5.4% for white patients. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, the new research published Tuesday attempted to identify why Asian residents had a higher hospitalization rate.

Hospitalizations for Hispanic and Black residents were largely due to factors like socioeconomic status and other health issues. However, factors like age, income, health insurance coverage and medical co-morbidities did not fully explain the higher rate of hospitalization for Asian residents.

“What is interesting is that even when we count for all socioeconomic factors and health profile, just being Asian alone still conferred excess risk for having severe COVID,” the study’s co-author, UCSF ophthalmologist Dr. David Hwang told The San Francisco Chronicle. “We don’t fully understand the reasons for that.”

The pandemic has negatively impacted the Asian American community in several ways. According to USA Today, Asian American and Pacific Islanders faced the highest rates of long-term unemployment during the first quarter of 2021. The Asian American Psychological Association found that 41 percent of the 3,736 Asian Americans surveyed were experiencing anxiety and depression symptoms.

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