Ethnicity has once again shown to play a large part in COVID-19 as new figures show black people are twice as likely as white people to catch it.

A study of 18 million people has also found that Asian people are 1.5 times more likely to become infected by coronavirus when compared to white people. They are more likely to become seriously unwell with the condition too.

These latest findings further support mounting research that black and Asian people are at a higher risk of COVID-19.

One of the lead researchers Dr Shirley Sze said: “The clear evidence of increased risk of infection among ethnic minority groups is of urgent public health importance.

“We must work to minimise exposure to the virus in these at-risk groups by facilitating their timely access to healthcare resources and target the social and structural disparities that contribute to health inequalities.”

Another lead researcher on the study, Dr Manish Pareek, who is a hospital consultant and academic in Leicester, added: “Our findings suggest that the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and Asian communities is mainly attributable to increased risk of infection in these communities.

In the community:

“Many explanations exist as to why there may be an elevated level of COVID-19 infection in ethnic minority groups, including the greater likelihood of living in larger household sizes comprised of multiple generations; having lower socioeconomic status, which may increase the likelihood of living in overcrowded households; and being employed in frontline roles where working from home is not an option.”

The review has been published in the eClinical Medicine by The Lancet.

Editor’s note: Don’t forget, you can find support and speak to others about COVID-19 in the Diabetes Forum.

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