Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19


  • Heather Mason
  • Univadis Medical News
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A summary in Lancet Respiratory Medicine reveals growing evidence that people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities are at higher risk for poorer COVID-19 outcomes. The UK’s Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre data up to 30 April, show that of 6,574 patients with COVID-19, one third were from non-white communities, which only make up 13 per cent of the whole population. 

Of health worker deaths in the UK, 94 per cent were from BAME origin. While there is greater prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease in BAME communities, other factors may contribute. For example, BAME doctors may work in more patient-facing roles. They are twice as likely to feel pressurised into seeing patients with inadequate PPE, andare much less likely to raise concerns regarding workplace safety. 

The Institute for Fiscal Studies report found that the death rate for people of black African, black Caribbean, or Pakistani descent was 3.5, 1.7, and 2.7 times higher, respectively than for white British people. This may also be due to living in more densely populated areas, higher use of public transport, and lower-paid jobs without sick pay.