To investigate the potential influence of racial differences in outcomes of patients infected by coronavirus disease 2019-positive patients who require intensive care in an urban hospital.
Retrospective cohort study.
Henry Ford Health System Multidisciplinary ICU, a total of 156 beds spread throughout the hospital in Detroit, MI.
We obtained data from the electronic medical record of all adult severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2-positive patients managed in the ICU of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, between March 13, 2020, and July 31, 2020. Included patients were divided into two groups: people of color (including Black, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, and Arab) and White.
Measurements and Main Results:
A total of 365 patients were evaluated: 219 were Black (60.0%), 129 were White (35.3%), two were Asian (0.6%), eight were Hispanic/Latino (2.2%), and seven were Arab (1.9%). People of color were younger (62.8 vs 67.1; p = 0.007), with equal distribution of sex. People of color had less coronary artery disease (34 [14.4%] vs 35 [27.1%]; p =0.003) and less self-reported use of regular alcohol consumption (50 [21.2%] vs 12 [9.3%]; p = 0.004) than Whites, with no differences in diabetes (125 [53.0%] vs 66 [51.2%]; p = 0.742), hypertension (188 [79.7%] vs 99 [76.8%]; p = 0.516), congestive heart failure (41 [17.4%] vs 32 [24.8%]; p = 0.090), or chronic kidney disease (123 [54.1%] vs 55 [42.6%]; p = 0.083).
There was no difference in ICU length of stay between people of color (18 d [CI, 7–47 d]) and Whites (18 d [CI, 6–48 d]; p = 0. 0.979). Neither frequency (72.5% vs 71.3%; p = ns) nor median time to mechanical ventilation between people of color (9 d [CI, 6–15 d]) and Whites (10 d [CI, 5–16 d]; p = 0.733) was different. Overall, 188 patients (51.5 %) died in the hospital. The 28-day mortality was lower in people of color (107/236; 45.3%) versus Whites (73/129; 56.6%) (adjusted odds ratio 0.60; p = 0.034), and there was an increased median survival time in people of color (20 d) versus Whites (13.5 d; hazard ratio 0.62; p = 0.002). The inhospital mortality was lower in people of color versus White, but the difference was not statistically significant (113 [47.9%] vs 75 [58.1%], respectively; p = 0.061). Finally, there was no significant difference in days of symptoms prior to admission, frequency of presenting symptoms, or frequency or severity of acute respiratory distress syndrome between the two groups.
In critically ill patients infected with coronavirus disease 2019, people of color had a lower 28-day mortality than Whites with no difference in hospital mortality, ICU length of stay, or rates of intubation. These findings are contrary to previously held beliefs surrounding the pandemic.