Black, Latina pregnant women in Chicago hospitalized for COVID at higher rate, data shows

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ABC 7 Data Team obtained new numbers about how COVID-19 is impacting pregnant women in Chicago through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The numbers of pregnant women being hospitalized with the virus are higher for Black and brown women in the city.

Latina women made up the majority of people hospitalized with COVID while pregnant this past year, according to data recently obtained from the Chicago Department of Public Health.

It shows at least 1,000 pregnant women have been hospitalized by the virus in Chicago during the course of the pandemic.

From March of 2020 to August 2021, 38% of the pregnant people hospitalized with COVID were Latinx, the most of any race or ethnicity. Latinx people make up roughly 29% of the city's population and 28% of total hospitalizations.

The CDPH report has a cumulative total of over 29,000 COVID hospitalizations across the pandemic so far. It also shows 36% of pregnant African American woman were hospitalized with COVID. Pregnant white women hospitalized with COVID stands at 12%.

The data comes as findings from the Centers for Disease Control show Blacks and Latinas also had lower vaccination rates. Other factors like life expectancy, higher rates of unemployment and pre-existing health conditions also played a role.

The data only includes pregnant women if it is flagged on their record; the actual number of pregnant people hospitalized could be higher.

Health advocates say understanding the full spectrum of maternal and neonatal outcomes and health disparities associated with COVID-19 in pregnancy is key to saving lives.
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