UCLA study finds COVID-19 deaths among working-age Latinos surged over three-month period

People walk past a store selling face coverings in the largely Latino neighbor of East Los Angeles, August 7, 2020 in Los Angeles, California during the coronavirus pandemic. - California is experiencing a statewide spike in COVID-19 infections among

Deaths from coronavirus among working-age Latinos in California have increased nearly five-fold in the past three months, according to research released Thursday by professors at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

Research by Professors David Hayes-Bautista and Paul Hsu showed the increase in death rates in all Latino age groups: young adult, early middle age and late middle age.

"In the early days of the pandemic, we worried about the skyrocketing death rate for the elderly," Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (FSPH) professor of health policy and management and distinguished professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said. "Now the virus is falling on the working-age population, and the young Latino population is disproportionately represented in this demographic"

The professors used data furnished by the California Department of Public Health on COVID-19 deaths between May 11 and August 11, arranged by ethnicity and age group.

For Latino adults ages 18-38, including college students and recent graduates, the death rate was low, but its rate of growth -- 473% -- was "alarming," the professors said.

In the early middle age category, ages 35-49, the death rate went up by 386%, their research showed.


Is coronavirus more deadly for Latino residents in LA County?

COVID-19 disproportionately affecting Latinos; woman shares heartbreaking story of losing her father

Newsom: CA must protect essential workers, coronavirus disproportionately affects Latino community

The death rate for late middle-aged Latinos, ages 50-69, spiked by 471% over the three-month period. At 54.73 deaths per 100,000, the death rate among this age group is nearly 25 times higher than the young adult rate of 2.12 and nearly four times higher than the early middle-aged rate of 14.23, said Hayes-Bautista and Hsu, assistant professor of epidemiology at Fielding School of Public Health and co-author of the report.

Their research determined the virus is taking a high toll on Latino adults in their peak earning years.

RELATED: Stay up to date on all coronavirus-related information

"Anything that threatens the stability of our economy, like COVID-19's inroads into the working-age population, needs to be taken seriously," Hayes-Bautista said.

The report, "COVID-19: Associated Deaths in Working-Age Latino Adults," is published by the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture (CESLAC), part of UCLA Health.

Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.