Aging and COVID-19 in Minority Populations: a Perfect Storm

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Epidemiology | Geriatrics | Infectious Disease | Race and Ethnicity | Virus Diseases


Purpose of Review: COVID-19 is a major concern for the health and wellbeing of individuals worldwide. As COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to increase in the USA, aging Black and Hispanic populations have emerged as especially at-risk for increased exposure to COVID-19 and susceptibility to severe health outcomes. The current review discusses the weathering hypothesis and the influence of social inequality on the identified health disparities.

Recent Findings: Aging minoritized populations have endured structural and social inequality over the lifecourse. Consequently, these populations experience weathering, a process that results in physiological dysregulation due to stress associated with persistent disadvantage. Through weathering and continued inequity, aging minoritized populations have an increased risk of exposure and poor health outcomes from COVID-19.

Summary: Current literature and available data suggests that aging minoritized persons experience high rates of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. The current review hypothesizes and supports that observed disparities are the result of inequalities that especially affect Black and Hispanic populations over the lifecourse. Future efforts to address these disparities should emphasize research that supports governments in identifying at-risk groups, providing accessible COVID-19-related information to those groups, and implementing policy that addresses the structural and social inequities that perpetuate current COVID-19 disparities.


Aging, Black, COVID-19, Health disparities, Hispanic, Weathering

DOI of Published Version



Walubita T, Beccia A, Boama-Nyarko E, Goulding M, Herbert C, Kloppenburg J, Mabry G, Masters G, McCullers A, Forrester S. Aging and COVID-19 in Minority Populations: a Perfect Storm. Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2021 Mar 16:1-9. doi: 10.1007/s40471-021-00267-4. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33747713; PMCID: PMC7959878. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Current epidemiology reports

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID