New report examines mortality rate disparity in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – This pandemic has highlighted some really eye-opening realities across New Mexico.

Native American and Latino communities are being hit the hardest with deaths and hospitalizations.

The state’s latest COVID mortality report was released on Monday. It shows some staggering statistics when it comes to who’s dying from the virus.

The mortality rate per 100,000:

  • For American Indians: 758.4
  • For Hispanics: 240.2
  • For White: 113.3

Both minority groups have a death rate much higher, than those who identified as white.

The hospitalization rate reflected a similar situation. Hispanics were hospitalized nearly two times more. American Indians had a rate nearly 7 times higher.

"These are community partners, we’re losing elders in our multicultural multiracial communities,” said Dr. Lisa Cacari Stone.

UNM’s Dr. Stone is one of the co-leads in a new study called Weave-NM: Wide Engagement for Accessing COVID-19 Vaccine Equity.

"We want to understand this deeper dive so that we can create interventions and create a racial justice framework for public health strategies and policy change in New Mexico," said Stone.

At the start of the pandemic, the Navajo Nation was the hardest hit per capita in cases. The Dine Policy Institute is also teaming up in this research study.

"If the community’s in the rural areas had easier access to healthcare, I think a lot of lives would have been saved,” said Dr. Franklin Sage with Dine Policy Institute.