Disparities in healthcare exist in the U.S., particularly between different racial categories. This study investigated the frequency of COVID-19 cases and hypertension cases among five different racial groups (White, Black, Asian, Native American, and Native Hawaiian). The study also examined the correlation between COVID-19 and hypertension. It was hypothesized that, because of genetic predisposition to certain diseases and existing socioeconomic barriers, Black populations would have the highest rates of both COVID-19 and hypertension. It was also proposed that a positive correlation exists between COVID-19 and hypertension frequency. To test this, the Kaiser Family Foundation's data for COVID-19 cases and race were used in conjunction with Census population data to determine if COVID-19 case frequency means differ by race. The America's Health Rankings data for hypertension and race were used to determine if hypertension frequency means differ by race. The statistical analysis used for both aims was one-way ANOVA. Lastly, the correlation between hypertension and COVID-19 was found by calculating the Kendall's Tau-b Coefficient. For each ANOVA procedure, there was a statistically significant difference between the means of each dataset. The Kendall's Tau-b Coefficient for COVID-19 and hypertension was a small positive number. It can be concluded that the percentages of both hypertension and COVID-19 cases differ by race and that there is a slightly positive correlation between hypertension and COVID-19. As expected, Black individuals had the highest mean rates of hypertension; however, the highest COVID-19 case frequency was found in Native Americans. On this basis, it can be proposed that, though a correlation exists between hypertension and COVID-19, other factors also contribute to increased infection with COVID-19, and that they should be investigated.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Hawthorne, Alicia


Hinojosa, Melanie


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Medicine


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date