Blacks in US,UK twice as likely to get COVID-19 as whites: Study
Black people in the US and UK are twice as likely as white people to get infected with the coronavirus, according to a first-of-its kind analysis.
The study, published Thursday in the journal EClinical Medicine, also found people from South Asia were 1.5 times as likely as white people to get the disease, and were slightly more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit or die.
The findings underscore previous findings showing that systemic inequalities make people of color more vulnerable to COVID-19, and more likely to experience serious illness if they do get sick.
"The clear evidence of increased risk of infection amongst ethnic minority groups is of urgent public health importance," Dr. Shirley Sze, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) academic clinical lecturer and a lead author of the paper, said.
"We must work to minimize 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."
The study included more than 18 million people
To conduct the meta-analysis, researchers at the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham, who were supported by the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, pooled data from 42 research articles out the US and eight from the UK that studied the effect of ethnicity on clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, data from the US has shown that communities of color are at disproportionate risk of COVID-19. Specifically, Black, Hispanic, and American Indian and Alaska Native populations are at increased risk for cases, deaths, and hospitalizations. Pregnant people of color are also disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.
The researchers say there are many factors that could help explain the results, including that ethnic minorities may be more likely to live in crowded households with multiple generations, to have frontline jobs that can't be done from home, and to have less access to healthcare.