If I have heart issues, does my ethnicity or race increase my risk for developing COVID?

by Briana Costello, MD

Adjusted large data presented at the American Heart Association Meeting in November of 2020 suggests that ethnicity and race are not independent risk factors for increases in major adverse cardiac events or death— however, some minorities are disproportionately infected in the community.  Hypertension and obesity are the biggest risk factors for COVID-19 — not your race or ethnicity. If you are less than 50 years old, your risk of death increases as your BMI increases.  Because African American and Hispanic members of the community have 50% higher rates of hospitalization and death due to COVID, this is very commonly confused with a higher risk for getting COVID – which is not the same statistic.


For Patients
About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (CDC)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public (WHO)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Texas DHHS)
What heart patients should know about coronavirus (American Heart Association)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (CDC)
COVID-19, MERS & SARS (NIH Allergy & Infectious Diseases)
For Professionals
Key Questions on COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Disease (American College of Cardiology)
ACC Clinical Bulletin Focuses on Cardiac Implications of Coronavirus (COVID-19) (ACC News Story, Feb 13, 2020)
Resources to Aid Researchers and Clinicians 
COVID Updates (TMC)