Better Outcomes in the Bronx's Second Pandemic Wave

Better Outcomes in the Bronx's Second Pandemic Wave

The Bronx and other minority communities were hit especially hard by the first wave of COVID-19. But what about the second wave? In the largest study to date comparing clinical characteristics of COVID-19’s first two waves, Tim Duong, Ph.D., Wouter Hoogenboom, Ph.D., and colleagues, found strong improvement in outcomes across all age, racial, and ethnic groups in the second wave. The findings were published online on August 16 in The Lancet Regional Health Americas.

The researchers analyzed clinical data of more than 12,000 patients in the Montefiore Health System who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between March 2020 and January 2021, during which there were two distinct waves of the pandemic. Compared with patients in the first wave, those in the second wave were younger and had fewer comorbidities, less extreme laboratory values at presentation, and lower risk of adverse outcomes (including in-hospital death, hospitalization, and length of stay). Clinical outcomes improved most among Black and Hispanic patients—encouraging news in the battle against health disparities.

The researchers noted that the results may reflect improved public health measures, large scale testing, earlier diagnosis, and new therapies. The study was done in collaboration with Parsa Mirhaji, M.D., Ph.D., and the Montefiore Einstein Center for Health Data Innovations.

Dr. Duong is professor and vice chair for research of radiology, professor of physiology & biophysics, and professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience at Einstein. Dr. Hoogenboom is a research fellow in the department of radiology at Einstein. Dr. Mirhaji is a research associate professor of systems & computational biology at Einstein and director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Health Data Innovations.

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