Date of Conferral





Public Health


Jennifer Oliphant


The COVID-19 pandemic remains a global health challenge, with 6.7 million deaths worldwide as of January 2023. It has illuminated the health iniquities in underserved communities and populations like those with sickle cell disease (SCD). Researchers have associated the COVID-19 outcome among SCD patients in other regions of the globe. The purpose of this retrospective cross-sectional observational study was to investigate the relationship between age, race/Hispanic origin, and COVID-19 mortality among persons with SCD in the United States from January 2020 to March 2021. The Krieger ecosocial theory of disease distribution framed the study. Data were drawn from an existing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provisional SCD death data set (N = 140). The binary logistic regression analysis result showed a statistically significant relationship between age and race/Hispanic origin and COVID-19 mortality. The variability between ages was 42.9%; race/Hispanic origin was 29.9%; and age and race/Hispanic origin were the highest, with 62.4% dying from COVID-19. Non-Hispanic Black patients were 9.6 times more likely to die overall but those aged 60+ were 17.5 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the reference groups (0–19-year-old and other race). This study can benefit the research community, public health workers, medical professionals, and policymakers to understand better and influence policy on developing and prioritizing age- and race-tailored preventive protocols and medical care. They may minimize pain and suffering while mitigating mortality from COVID-19 and other unforeseen future pandemics within the SCD community at home and abroad and positively effect social change

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