Coronavirus UK: South Asian communities in England were more at risk of death during the second wave
South Asian communities in England were more at risk during the second wave of coronavirus than other ethnic groups, a study finds.
Researchers said the differences between the first and second waves of the pandemic between the first and second waves of the pandemic have improved for most minority ethnic groups.
But this gap widened for people of South Asian background between the wave from February to September and then September to December last year.
The findings, published in the journal Lancet, are based on 17 million adults in England, believed to be the largest study to date.
Dr. Rohini Mathur, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: ‘Despite the improvements seen in most of the ethnic minority groups in the second wave compared to the first, it is concerning got bigger.
Researchers said inequalities for hospital admissions and death from Covid-19 for most minority ethnic groups improved between the first and second waves of the pandemic (file image)
“This underscores the urgent need to find effective prevention measures to suit the needs of the UK’s ethnically diverse population.”
The scientists said health factors – such as body weight, blood pressure, and underlying health problems – as well as household size may be some of the main factors behind the inequality in Covid-19 mortality for South Asian groups.
Dr. Rohini Mathur, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Possible solutions include reducing structural deprivation and inequality and improving access to health care for all ethnic minority groups, the researchers said.
Dr. Mathur said: “ While living through multiple generations can increase the risk of exposure and transmission (from children or adults of working age to older or vulnerable family members), such households and expanded communities also provide valuable informal care networks and facilitate engagement in health and community services.
“In light of emerging evidence that minority ethnic groups are less likely to take up the Covid-19 vaccine, co-designing culturally competent and non-stigmatizing engagement strategies with these communities is increasingly important.”
The Covid-19 pandemic is believed to have had a disproportionate impact on minority ethnic communities in the UK compared to white groups.
Reasons for this include living in disadvantaged neighborhoods, working in primary care jobs and poorer access to healthcare.
For their study, the researchers analyzed partially anonymized electronic health data from 17,288,532 adults in the OpenSAFELY database.
Ethnicity was self-reported by the participants and grouped into five main categories: White, South Asian, Black, Other, and Mixed.
The Covid-19 pandemic is believed to have had a disproportionate impact on minority ethnic communities in the UK compared to white groups (image file)
Data showed that during the first wave, nearly all minority ethnic groups had a higher relative risk of testing positive, being admitted to the hospital and intensive care unit (ICU), and death, compared to white groups.
IC admissions were more than doubled for all ethnic minority groups compared to white groups, the researchers said, with black people more than three times more likely to be admitted to IC after taking other factors into account.
The researchers found that during the second wave, these risks decreased for all ethnic minority communities, with the exception of South Asian groups.
Dr. Daniel Morales of the University of Dundee and Dr. Sarah Ali of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust wrote in a linked note that the main challenge now is to ensure that vaccination programs for Covid-19 are rolled out effectively among all minority ethnic groups . .
They said, ‘There have been reports of increased (vaccine) hesitation in minority ethnic groups, including those working in primary and social care, who are knowingly at an increased risk of contracting Covid-19.
“Unless the hesitation about vaccines is addressed directly, differential vaccine uptake could further increase the health inequalities faced by ethnic minority groups.”