Coronavirus: South Asia most likely to die in hospital

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A large proportion of NHS doctors are from an ethnic minority


From South Asia people are most likely to die from coronavirus after being admitted to hospital in Britain, the major analysis shows.

It is the only ethnic group at high risk of death in hospital and is partly due to high levels of diabetes.

The study is extremely important, as it evaluated the four-by-10 data from all patients in the hospital with Covid-19.

The researchers said that policies such as protecting people at work and who receives a vaccine may now need to change.

Twenty-seven institutions across the UK, including universities and public health organizations, as well as 260 hospitals, were involved in the study.

It only tells us what happens once someone is admitted to the hospital, not whether they were more likely to get the virus.

He looked at nearly 35,000 Covid-19 patients in 260 hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales until mid-May.

“South Asians are significantly more likely to die from Covid-19 in the hospital, but we don’t see a significant effect in the black group,” Prof Ewen Harrison, of the University of Edinburgh, told the BBC.

South Asian decor people are 20% more likely to die than Caucasians. Other minority ethnic groups do not have a higher death rate.

The study, the largest of its kind in the world, shows:

  • 290 die of every 1,000 white people needing treatment in hospital for Covid-19
  • 350 die in 1,000 South Asians of people in need of hospital treatment for Covid-19

The study also reveals profound differences in who needs hospital care based on ethnicity.

“The population of South Asians in the hospital looks completely different to the white population,” Professor Harrison said.

He added: “They are 12 years younger on average, that is a huge difference, and they do not have dementia, obesity or lung disease, but very high levels of diabetes. ”

About 40% of South Asians, patients had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, compared to 25% of white groups.

Diabetes has a dual effect of increasing the risk of infection and damaging the organs of the body, which can affect the ability to survive a coronavirus infection.

  • Why do more people from BAME backgrounds die from coronavirus?

This is thought to be a major factor in the increase in the death rate among people of South Asian ethnicity, but the picture has not yet been discovered.

Other explanations could include poverty or subtle genetic differences that increase the risk of serious infection, the researchers say.

The results were made public online before being officially published in a medical journal.

However, the results were transferred to the UK government from the scientific advisory group – Sage – for more than a month.

The report says that ethnicity may now need to be next to age and other health issues when deciding who gets a vaccine if one becomes available. The same question comes down to deciding who should be shielded and whether some people need additional protection in the workplace.

“It does have serious consequences that are difficult to cope with,” Professor Harrison told the BBC.

“Should there be a different policy for a South Asian front line white nurse, nurse – that’s what’s really difficult. “

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The study found that all ethnic minorities were more likely to need intensive care than people of white background.

This may be partly due to the increasingly severe illness. However, another factor is whites were older and sicker so ventilation in intensive care may not be an option.

The differences, however, were not about access to health care.

The report showed that all ethnic groups arrived at the hospital at roughly the same stage of Covid-19, suggesting that there is no delay in getting help between ethnic groups.

Previous Public Health work in England showed Bangladeshi people were dying at twice the rate of the white population, while others black, Asian and minority ethnic groups had between 10% and 50% higher risk of death. Although this did not take into account other factors such as occupation, health problems and obesity.

Vitamin D and heart disease?

Meanwhile, work by Queen Mary University of London, suggested heart disease and vitamin D levels did not explain the increased risk of coronavirus in blacks, Asians and other ethnic minorities.

Both had been suggested as possible explanations for the increased risk of certain groups.

The researchers used data from the UK’s Biobank study. It tracks people throughout their lives, especially during the pandemic, and has detailed personal and medical information about the people who are involved.

It did not look like at death, rather, that was positive for the virus in the hospital.

Their study, published in the Journal of Public Health, showed weight, poverty, and overcrowded housing all contributed to a greater chance of having the virus.

Researchers Dr. Zahra Raisi-Estabragh and Professor Steffen Petersen told the BBC: “Although some of the factors we studied appeared important, none of them sufficiently explained the ethnicity of the differences. ”

Even after taking it into account, people belonging to ethnic minorities were still 59% more likely to have positive test results than those of white backgrounds and the reason remains unknown.

Dr Raisi-Estabragh and Prof Petersen added: “This is a really important issue and one that we need to address urgently.

“There are a wide range of possible explanations, including sociological, economic, professional and other biological factors such as the different genetic susceptibilities that need to be taken into account. ”

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