Thursday, 19 May, 2022
HomeHealthBlack and Asian communities are at greater risk of Covid infection, new...

Black and Asian communities are at greater risk of Covid infection, new Lancet study finds

The Lancet study has found that patients from Black ethnicity were twice as likely to get infected by the novel coronavirus compared to White individuals.

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New Delhi: Individuals of Black and Asian ethnicity are at increased risk of contracting Covid-19 infection compared to White people, a new study has found.

Published in The Lancet Friday, the study, which included 18,728,893 hospitalised patients in the UK and the US, said ethnic minority groups are “disproportionately affected” by the novel coronavirus. It also found that people of Asian ethnicity were at a higher risk of Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) admissions and death.

“These findings are of critical public health importance in informing interventions to reduce morbidity and mortality amongst ethnic minority groups,” the study noted.

The findings were based on reviews and meta analysis of 50 research papers that had studied the 18,728,893 patients in UK and the US. As many as 42 papers were from the US and the remaining eight are from the UK.

For the study, the patients were divided into the following ethnic groups — 14,506,023 (77 per cent) White, 1,267,802 (7 per cent) Asian, 527,944 (3 per cent) Black, 1,578,192 (8 per cent) Hispanic, 1,113 Native American, 2,29,822 (2 per cent) ‘Mixed’, and 6,17,997 (3 per cent) from ‘Other’ ethnic groups.


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Black and Asian communities at higher risk

The study found that people of Black ethnicity were twice as likely to get infected by the novel coronavirus compared to White individuals. Asian and Hispanic individuals were also more likely to get infected compared to White individuals.

The study found that ITU admissions were more among Black and Asian patients compared to White individuals.

“Individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to live in larger household sizes comprised of multiple generations. They are also more likely to have lower socioeconomic status, which may increase the likelihood of living in overcrowded households, or accommodation with shared facilities or communal areas,” the study noted.

It also said, “Furthermore, individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to be employed as essential workers, or less able to work from home, and as a result have continued to have contact with others through work or commuting.”

Barrier to healthcare among ethnic minority groups

Racism and structural discrimination may also contribute to an increased risk of worse clinical outcomes within ethnic minority groups, said the study.

“Within a healthcare context, this contributes to inequities in the delivery of care, barriers to accessing care, loss of trust, and psychosocial stressors. There is evidence to suggest that ethnic minorities and migrant groups have been less likely to implement public health measures, be tested, or seek care when experiencing symptoms due to such barriers,” it noted.

There were, however, some limitations in the study. Only half the papers included in it were peer reviewed. Some papers may also have overlapping populations, and the study was based on broad categories of ethnicity.

While the study is based on patients in the UK and the US, with both countries having ethnically diverse populations, the researchers have cautioned generalisation of their findings to other nations.

Despite these limitations, the researchers noted, “Our findings should inform public health strategies to minimise exposure risk of SARS-CoV-2 in ethnic minority groups, by facilitating timely access to healthcare resources, and targeting the social determinants, structural racism, and occupational risk underlying inequities.”


Also read: Inhaling immune protein interferon beta improves recovery of Covid patients — Lancet study


 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. To restate the conclusion, people of white ethnic background were less likely to be infected than people of black or Asian background.

  2. “The study found that people of Black ethnicity were twice as likely to get infected by the novel coronavirus compared to White individuals. Asian and Hispanic individuals were also more likely to get infected compared to White individuals.”

    Worldwide statistics is different. Also the number of Asians infected in the US are far less in ration to population than whites. Anybody and everybody (especially those “pedigreed” and opinionated seem to publish lopsided study reports.

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