October 1, 2020

CDC Report Analyzes Demographics of Healthcare Workers with COVID-19

Healthcare workers who die from COVID-19 are more likely to be older, male, Asian, Black, or have an underlying medical condition than healthcare workers who survive the disease, according to a new report from CDC. The report is based on demographics and other information from 100,570 cases of COVID-19 among healthcare workers that were reported to CDC between Feb. 12 and July 16. Of these workers, 641 are known to have died, while 67,105 survived. The outcomes for nearly one-third of the cases were unknown.

While the large majority (79 percent) of these workers who contracted COVID-19 were female, a higher percentage of fatal cases occurred in males. Men comprised just 21 percent of the total population studied but accounted for 38 percent of the fatalities.

Information about race and ethnicity was known for approximately 70,000 of the healthcare workers studied. Workers identified as non-Hispanic Asian comprised 9 percent of the total population but 20 percent of the deaths. Non-Hispanic Blacks accounted for slightly more than a quarter of the total (26 percent) but almost a third of the deaths (32 percent).

Age was an even greater factor than ethnicity in the outcomes for healthcare workers, according to the report. Just five percent of the total population were over 64 years of age, but among those who died, 44 percent were over 64.

For 40,582 of the cases, CDC was able to determine whether the healthcare worker had underlying conditions such as chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and renal disease. Of these cases, individuals with at least one underlying medical condition accounted for 44 percent of total cases but 92 percent of the fatalities.

The report appeared in the Sept. 25, 2020, issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.