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COVID-19 morbimortality by race/skin color/ethnicity: the experience of Brazil and the United States


  • Edna Maria Araujo Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana (Ufes) – Novo Horizonte (BA), Brasil
  • Kia Lilly Caldwell University of North Carolina (UNC), Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies – Chapel Hill (Carolina do Norte), Estados Unidos da América
  • Márcia Pereira Alves dos Santos Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) – Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Brasil.
  • Ionara Magalhães de Souza Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia (UFRB) – (BA), Brasil.
  • Patrícia Lima Ferreira Santa Rosa Fundação Instituto de Educação de Barueri (Fieb) – Barueri (SP), Brasil.
  • Andreia Beatriz Silva dos Santos
  • Luís Eduardo Batista Secretaria de Estado da Saúde de São Paulo (SES-SP) – São Paulo (SP), Brasil.



Race, Ethincity, Mobidity and mortality, Health informaton System, Racism


This study sought to describe the experience of Brazil and the United States in relation to COVID-19 morbidity and mortality data according to race/skin color/ethnicity.  Toward this end, it seeks to describe the factors involved in the treatment and dissemination of the morbimortality data for this pathology in the two countries. The analysis includes epidemiological bulletins released by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, partial results from Brazil’s National Household Survey (PNAD) for COVID-19 collected by the Brazilian Institutes of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), and state-of-the-art health data about the impact of the pandemic in the United States, from the perspective of race/skin color/ethnicity. Despite the low quality of health information on the COVID-19 morbidity and mortality of the black population, the results corroborate racial inequities in health for COVID-19, confirming the existence of structural and institutional racism in both countries.  This article highlights the need to qualify data about race/skin color/ethnicity, by relating them to age, place of residence, type of residence, access to basic sanitation, and occupation, among other social determinants, that impact how individuals become ill and die from COVID-19, in order to enact strategies and public policies that truly promote equity.


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Health Sciences