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September 25, 2020

Yahoo Finance: ‘Pandemics do not cause inequities, they unmask them:’ American Kidney Fund Congressional Briefing on COVID-19 Impact on Communities of Color Tackles Social Determinants of Health

ROCKVILLE, MD / ACCESSWIRE / September 25, 2020 / Bringing together an all-star panel of health and policy experts, the American Kidney Fund’s (AKF) Sept. 16 Congressional briefing focused on factors that have contributed to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. The briefing-COVID-19, Health Disparities and the Social Determinants of Health-explored the dramatically higher rates of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths among people of color and those with end-stage renal disease (ESRD, or kidney failure), and how addressing the social determinants of health is part of the solution to tackle these health disparities.


“Unfortunately, the health disparities that we see in kidney disease are mirrored in what we now see happening with COVID-19,” said LaVarne Burton, AKF president and CEO. “The impact of COVID-19 on minority populations and ESRD patients is not unexpected given the higher rates of hypertension and diabetes in our communities as well as heart disease and other multiple chronic conditions that make a person more vulnerable to COVID-19 complications, hospitalizations, and, sadly, even death.


U.S. Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA-44) discussed the social determinants of health that contribute to poor health outcomes in communities of color. Earlier this year, she introduced H.R. 6561, Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020.

“We must examine the social, economic, and environmental factors that drive this inequality, such as poor housing conditions, food insecurity, fewer transportation options, and lack of educational opportunities,” Rep. Barragán said. “Scenarios like these are also some of the reasons why we see a lack of access to care, and are some of the reasons why we have health disparities between underserved communities and more affluent areas.”


Read the full article here.