While non-Hispanic Black adults make up 10% of the population ages 65 to 74, they account for 18% of COVID-19-related deaths in that age group.
Paola Scommegna and Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau, discuss assorted findings that being older and Black creates a double jeopardy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings based on research from Marc A. Garcia of the Center for Aging and Policy Studies (CAPS) and colleagues, along with that of Linda M. Chatters, Henry Owen Taylor, and Robert Joseph Taylor (Michigan).
“Adults ages 60 and older are at higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. However, older Black Americans are especially at risk. The latest provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that while non-Hispanic Black adults make up 10% of the population ages 65 to 74, they account for 18% of COVID-19-related deaths in that age group.
The pandemic’s heavy toll on older Black Americans is linked to structural racism—larger systems of inequality embedded in major U.S. social institutions, Marc A. Garcia and colleagues argue. These unequal structures limit Black Americans’ access to quality health care and increase their overall risk for chronic disease, premature aging, and COVID-19 infection.”
This article is an excerpt from issue 41 of Today’s Research on Aging.