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  1. Ethical Science News

  2. Feb 28, 2022

Large-Scale Patient Datasets Crucial for Understanding and Addressing COVID-19 Disparities

Study in a Sentence: The large-scale collection of data from electronic medical records can be used to improve the tracking of disparities in COVID-19 and care delivery and to inform strategic priorities in community partnerships and research agendas.

Healthy for Humans: COVID-19 has disproportionally impacted Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities, exacerbating existing inequities in underlying risk factors and access to care and treatment. These inequities highlight areas where increased attention is needed from researchers, health care providers, funding agencies, and lawmakers.

Redefining Research: The National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) is a multi-institutional initiative to develop a robust database of COVID-19 patient data from electronic medical records. A February 2021 analysis of the N3C data revealed increased test positivity rates, hospitalization rates, and mortality rates among female patients compared with male patients and among Black patients compared with white patients. Initiatives like the N3C help us not only to understand COVID-19 inequities and current gaps in addressing the pandemic, but also to create critical partnerships between communities, federal agencies, and academic institutions that can serve as long-term models for addressing health disparities.


Nana-Sinkam P, Kraschnewski J, Sacco R, et al. Health disparities and equity in the era of COVID-19. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science. 2021; 5(1). doi:10.1017/cts.2021.23.

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