Disproportionate impact of COVID-19 severity and mortality on hospitalized American Indian/Alaska Native patients Journalartikel uri icon



  • Epidemiological data across the United States of America illustrate health disparities in COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality by race/ethnicity. However, limited information is available from prospective observational studies in hospitalized patients, particularly for American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations. Here, we present risk factors associated with severe COVID-19 and mortality in patients (4/2020–12/2021, n = 475) at the University of New Mexico Hospital. Data were collected on patient demographics, infection duration, laboratory measures, comorbidities, treatment(s), major clinical events, and in-hospital mortality. Severe disease was defined by COVID-related intensive care unit requirements and/or death. The cohort was stratified by self-reported race/ethnicity: AI/AN (30.7%), Hispanic (47.0%), non-Hispanic White (NHW, 18.5%), and Other (4.0%, not included in statistical comparisons). Despite similar timing of infection and comparable comorbidities, admission characteristics for AI/AN patients included younger age (P = 0.02), higher invasive mechanical ventilation requirements (P = 0.0001), and laboratory values indicative of more severe disease. Throughout hospitalization, the AI/AN group also experienced elevated invasive mechanical ventilation (P < 0.0001), shock (P = 0.01), encephalopathy (P = 0.02), and severe COVID-19 (P = 0.0002), consistent with longer hospitalization (P < 0.0001). Self-reported AI/AN race/ethnicity emerged as the highest risk factor for severe COVID-19 (OR = 3.19; 95% CI = 1.70–6.01; P = 0.0003) and was a predictor of in-hospital mortality (OR = 2.35; 95% CI = 1.12–4.92; P = 0.02). Results from this study highlight the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on hospitalized AI/AN patients, who experienced more severe illness and associated mortality, compared to Hispanic and NHW patients, even when accounting for symptom onset and comorbid conditions. These findings underscore the need for interventions and resources to address health disparities in the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Hurwitz, Ivy
  • Yingling, Alexandra V
  • Amirkabirian, Teah
  • Castillo, Amber
  • Khan, Jehanzaeb J
  • Do, Alexandra
  • Lundquist, Dominic K
  • Barnes, October
  • Lambert, Christophe G
  • Fieck, Annabeth
  • Mertz, Gregory
  • Onyango, Clinton
  • Anyona, Samuel B
  • Teixeira, J Pedro
  • Harkins, Michelle
  • Unruh, Mark
  • Cheng, Qiuying
  • Leng, Shuguang
  • Seidenberg, Philip
  • Worsham, Anthony
  • Langsjoen, Jens O
  • Schneider, Kristan
  • Perkins, Douglas J


  • 2023

Beitrag veröffentlicht in


  • Open Access


  • 8


  • 2