South Asians are Extra More likely to Die of Coronavirus in a UK Hospital, That is Why

Image for representation. Credits: Associated Press.

The study also does not dwell into who was more likely to catch the virus, but instead focused on what happens post-hopsitalization.
Last Updated: June 19, 2020, 3:23 PM IST

South Asians are 20% more likely to die after being admitted to the hospital with coronavirus, than their white counterparts, finds a new study.

The study, called Ethnicity and Outcomes from COVID-19: The ISARIC CCP-UK Prospective Observational Cohort Study of Hospitalised Patients and part of a pre-print for medical journal, The Lancet, focuses on the ethnic inequalities in critical care admission patterns, the need for invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), and in-hospital mortality, among hospitalised patients with COVID-19 in the UK.

The results of the study are based on patients with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 from 260 hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales, with data collected directly and from records between 6th February and 8th May 2020 with follow-up until 22nd May 2020.

Twenty-seven institutions across the UK, including universities and public health bodies were also included in the study.

The study found that people from South Asian backgrounds were 20% more likely to die than white people, while other minority ethnic groups did not show a higher death rate.

The study, which is the largest of its type so far showed that out of every 1,000 people who are white and need hospital treatment for Covid-19, 290 was the average number of deaths.

For every 1,000 South Asian people who need hospital treatment for Covid-19, an average of 350 would die.

The study makes it clear that “reports of ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 outcomes are conflicting and the reasons for any differences in outcomes are unclear,” it also does mention how the difference in deaths could be due to diabetes.

Critical care admission was more common in South Asian, partly owing to diabetes being a high-risk factor for COVID-19, and “South Asians are at greater risk of dying, due at least in part to a higher prevalence of pre-existing diabetes.”

While the study is now available online, the results had been passed onto the UK government’s scientific advisory group, over a month ago, reported the BBC.

The study also does not dwell into who was more likely to catch the virus, but instead focused on what happens post-hopsitalization.

An earlier study had found how Indians were anyway at a higher risk in the UK’s healthcare system: Indians make up one in 10 of all foreign-born doctors in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and therefore face a greater risk from the coronavirus pandemic.

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