Risk for COVID-19 infection and death among Latinos in the United States: examining heterogeneity in transmission dynamics

Carlos E. Rodriguez-Diaz, Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Leandro Mena, Eric Hall, Brian Honermann, Jeffrey S. Crowley, Stefan Baral, Guillermo J. Prado, Melissa Marzan-Rodriguez, Chris Beyrer, Patrick S. Sullivan, Gregorio A. Millett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to ascertain COVID-19 transmission dynamics among Latino communities nationally. Methods: We compared predictors of COVID-19 cases and deaths between disproportionally Latino counties (≥17.8% Latino population) and all other counties through May 11, 2020. Adjusted rate ratios (aRRs) were estimated using COVID-19 cases and deaths via zero-inflated binomial regression models. Results: COVID-19 diagnoses rates were greater in Latino counties nationally (90.9 vs. 82.0 per 100,000). In multivariable analysis, COVID-19 cases were greater in Northeastern and Midwestern Latino counties (aRR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.11–1.84, and aRR: 1.70, 95% CI: 1.57–1.85, respectively). COVID-19 deaths were greater in Midwestern Latino counties (aRR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.04–1.34). COVID-19 diagnoses were associated with counties with greater monolingual Spanish speakers, employment rates, heart disease deaths, less social distancing, and days since the first reported case. COVID-19 deaths were associated with household occupancy density, air pollution, employment, days since the first reported case, and age (fewer <35 yo). Conclusions: COVID-19 risks and deaths among Latino populations differ by region. Structural factors place Latino populations and particularly monolingual Spanish speakers at elevated risk for COVID-19 acquisition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-53.e2
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Disparity
  • Hispanic
  • Latino
  • Race
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Age Distribution
  • Pandemics
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Local Government
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States/epidemiology
  • Hispanic Americans/statistics & numerical data
  • Coronavirus Infections/ethnology
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Population Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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