Black and Asian Patients at Increased Risk of Severe COVID-19 at Different Stages of the Disease

Hospital Emergency

Patients of Black ethnicity have an increased risk of requiring hospital admission for COVID-19, while patients of Asian ethnicity have an increased risk of dying in hospital from COVID-19, compared to White patients, a study has found.

Data analysis published today (Friday, October 9, 2020) in EClinicalMedicine, led by researchers at King’s College London, with support from the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre and the British Heart Foundation (BHF), examines the relationship between ethnic background and the virus SARS-CoV-2.

The study confirms that minority ethnic patients bear a higher burden of the disease than White patients and also finds that Black patients and Asian patients are affected at different stages of the disease.

Professor Ajay Shah, BHF Professor of Cardiology at King’s College London and Consultant Cardiologist at King’s College Hospital, said: “The finding that Black versus Asian patients are affected in quite different ways, and that significant risk persists even after adjustment for deprivation and long-term health conditions, is striking. It strongly suggests that other factors, possibly biological, are important and that we may need different treatment strategies for different ethnic groups. 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.”

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and Head of the NIHR, 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 analyzed data from 1,827 adult patients admitted to King’s College Hospital, south-east London, with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 between 1 March and 2 June 2020.

Researchers analyzed mortality in this group, and also compared a subset of 872 admitted patients from inner south-east London with 3,488 matched controls residing in the same region to determine how ethnic background is associated with the need for hospitalization for severe disease. Of these 872 admitted patients, 48.1% were Black, 33.7% White, 12.6% Mixed and 5.6% were Asian ethnicity.

The analysis showed that Black and Mixed ethnicity patients have a three-fold higher risk of requiring hospital admission once infected with COVID-19 compared to White inner-city residents of the same region. This is only partly explained by comorbidities and deprivation as adjusting for these factors Black patients still have a 2.2 to 2.7-fold higher admission risk. However, in-hospital survival for these patients was not significantly different from White patients.

By contrast, Asian patients did not have a higher risk of requiring hospital admission with COVID-19 than White patients but their in-hospital death rate and need for intensive care unit admission was higher than the other groups.

The researchers observed that the minority ethnic patients were 10-15 years younger than White patients and had a higher prevalence of comorbidities, especially diabetes.

The study suggests that while comorbidities and socioeconomic factors contribute to the impact of COVID-19 on minority communities, there may be an important role for other factors such as biological factors that affect different subgroups in different ways.

The results of this study are likely to be applicable across the whole of London and similar UK cities, but more research is needed to translate to multi-ethnic populations in other countries.

Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation said: “This study provides further evidence that COVID-19 disproportionally affects those whose ethnic background is a minority where they live, as has been seen across the world. Why coronavirus hits people with an ethnic minority background harder, and how to mitigate this, has been complex to address.”

She continued: “People from Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic backgrounds more often have heart and circulatory risk factors including high blood pressure and diabetes, and are more exposed to socioeconomic disadvantage, but this study indicates the worse effects of COVID-19 are present even after these are accounted for. Research is now needed to assess how other structural and behavioral factors may contribute, including occupation, access to health messaging and health care, and differences in the patient journey once people reach the hospital. As we see COVID-19 cases rise again in the UK, we must address these disparities with urgency.”

Reference: “A case-control and cohort study to determine the relationship between ethnic background and severe COVID-19” by Rosita Zakeri, Rebecca Bendayan, Mark Ashworth, Daniel M. Bean, Hiten Dodhia, Stevo Durbaba, Kevin O’Gallagher, Claire Palmer, Vasa Curcin, Elizabeth Aitken, William Bernal, Richard D. Barker, Sam Norton, Martin Gulliford, James T.H. Teo, James Galloway, Richard J.B. Dobson and Ajay M. Shah, 9 October 2020, EClinicalMedicine.
DOI: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100574

The study was supported by a large multi-disciplinary team across King’s College Hospital and King’s College London, with expert clinical informatics led by Professor Richard Dobson and Dr. James Teo, and a state-of-the-art Cogstack and MedCat platform to allow rapid analysis of clinical characteristics, including information relating to comorbidities, as patients are admitted.

5 Comments on "Black and Asian Patients at Increased Risk of Severe COVID-19 at Different Stages of the Disease"

  1. LMAO, this is a straight up lie. So, everyone other than the “white” guy has aggravated problems because, you know, privileges… The data is not representative of the population. Factors like vitamin D product (black produce less) are not considered…
    Keep pushing this narrative and you will only create more hate and division. Then some people wonder why nationalism policies are trending… someday emigrants will have to return to their shithole country, and we will be called supremacists, racists, all of that. Truth is, some cultures are just better fitted for a society than others (white culture).

  2. Omg, look at death rate on the african continent and compare it to that of Europe? They also didn’t mention the age groups of the subjects.

  3. Priyanka Garai | October 10, 2020 at 5:08 am | Reply

    meme of the moment- “…more research is needed to translate to multi-ethnic populations in other countries…….” 👉 https://chemicalgorithms.blogspot.com/

  4. There has been little to no deaths of the African people in Africa compared to that of Europe. Madagascar has had zero deaths since this first started and has a herbal cure that they have been making and using to much excellent success. It was just reported in another media source that people who are descendants of the Neanderthals have a greater and higher risk of having and dying of COVID 19 compared to non descendants of them(from the sub-Saharan regions). And another media source has been reporting that your blood type can make you more or less susceptible to COVID again when compared to other blood types. So, all this rubbish is just that-rubbish! These people calling themselves medial experts don’t know the half of what’s going on but are talking like they know it all, and are pulling straws out of a racially suggestive hat to basically say white is superior and anything else is inferior, when in reality genetics still says that all the dominate genes make the alleged minorities genetically more stronger and all the recessive genes makes that group of people weaker(if you can just read in between the lines). So, now I hope this helps with sorting out all these allegations,suspicions, and hidden references of what a certain set of people thinks and believes about another set of people in concerning a virus that shouldn’t be racially motivated and driven, because in the end we will all end up in the grave as death is the great equalizer of us all, and we all must meet our Maker! The End.

  5. THE END IS Near!

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