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Covid-19: Known risk factors fail to explain the increased risk of death among people from ethnic minorities

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 11 May 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1873

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  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London, UK

People from Asian and black ethnic backgrounds are at increased risk of dying from covid-19 and, contrary to speculation, this can only be partly explained by comorbidity, deprivation, or other risk factors, according to data from the largest study to date.1

The pseudonymised health data of over 17.4 million adults in the UK, which included 5683 hospital deaths attributed to covid-19, was analysed using the OpenSAFELY analytics platform. The study, which is published as a preprint before peer review, covered the time from 1 February to 25 April 2020.

Academics from Oxford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) working on behalf of NHS England and in partnership with NHSX confirmed that men are at increased risk from covid-19 death as well as older people and those with uncontrolled diabetes or obesity.

The study found that black people had more than double the risk of dying from covid-19 compared with those with ethnicity recorded as white (age-sex adjusted hazard ratio 2.17, 95% CI 1.84-2.57). After adjusting for deprivation and clinical …

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