Disparities in inpatient COVID-19 clinical trial eligibility and enrollment across age, sex, race, ethnicity
Higgins, Jasmine Mae
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COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus which has a high affinity for ACE-2 receptors in respiratory epithelium. The high affinity for ACE-2 allows the virus to infiltrate cells leading to viral assembly, maturation, and release. COVID-19 presents itself with respiratory and cold-like symptoms which may ultimately develop into ARDS. This study analyzed the demographics of inpatients who tested positive at MGH as well as their eligibility and enrollment status for COVID-19 clinical trials. When looking at the study population, MGH and the state of Massachusetts shared similar distributions of hospitalized men and women. MGH had a slightly higher proportion of Non-Hispanic Black hospitalized patients and a lower proportion of Hispanic hospitalized patients compared to the state of MA. MGH also had a higher percent of hospitalized patients 65 and older compared to the state. This study found statistically significant differences among eligibility status and enrollment status across race/ethnicity and age. There were no statistically significant differences among eligibility status or enrollment status across sex. Differences among eligibility and enrollment status among those 65 and older may be due to the large elderly population that utilizes MGH for care. It may also have to do with the fact that those who were under 65 had shorter hospital stays. The differences between eligibility and enrollment status across race/ethnicity may have to do with the hospital’s program dedicated to clinical trial inclusion of Spanish speaking patients. Findings from this study exemplify MGH’s efforts for equitable clinical trial involvement.