Coronavirus

Black and Asian communities ‘more likely’ to be hospitalised with COVID-19

COVID-19 treatment may need to be approached differently among black and Asian because of the higher risk of becoming seriously ill with the condition, researchers have said.

A King’s College Hospital study involving more than 1,800 COVID-19 hospitalised people has looked at how different ethnic communities react to the condition.

The research team say biology is a significant factor of how ill someone becomes with coronavirus when compared to poverty or other underlying health conditions.

Figures collected between March and June show 872 of 1,827 adults who were admitted to the hospital between March and June provided their ethnicity.

Of these, 48% were black, 33% were white, 12% were mixed ethnicity and 5.6% were of Asian ethnicity.

Further analysis indicates that people from black people are more likely to be admitted to hospital with COVID, while Asian people are more at risk of dying in hospital from the virus.

Overall, the study findings also showed that black and mixed ethnicity people have a three-fold higher risk of being admitted to hospital admission with COVID-19 when compared to their white counterparts in the same area.

Professor Ajay Shah, consultant cardiologist at King’s College Hospital, said: “We may need different treatment strategies for different ethnic groups.

In the community:

“For black patients, the issue may be how to prevent mild infection progressing to severe, whereas for Asian patients it may be how to treat life-threatening complications.”

England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty said: “The evidence is now clear that people from black and minority ethnic groups are more severely affected by COVID-19.

“This NIHR-supported research shows how different groups are affected, providing important information to help healthcare professionals offer the best possible treatment to minority ethnic patients.”

The study has been published in the journal EClinicalMedicine.

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