New UK Study Confirms At-Risk

Men, ethnic minorities, older people, those with uncontrolled diabetes and severe asthma, and people from disadvantaged backgrounds were confirmed to be at increased risk of death from COVID-19 in a large, not-yet-peer reviewed study, according to Euractiv.

Oxford and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine researchers analyzed anonymized NHS health data from 17.4 million UK adults between February 1 and April 25 to document risk factors associated with COVID-19 death.

They report that people of Asian and Black ethnic origin were also found to be at a higher risk of death, compared to white people—and that higher prevalence of medical problems such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes only accounted for a small part of the excess risk.

People from deprived social backgrounds were also found to be at a higher risk of death, which also could not be explained by other risk factors, according to anOxford University news release.

“It is very concerning to see that the higher risks faced by people from [Black and Minority Ethnic] backgrounds are not attributable to identifiable underlying health conditions,” says Liam Smeeth, a professor of Clinical Epidemiology at LSHTM and co-lead on the study.

The authors call for more research to fully understand why they are at such increased risk of death.

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