South Asian hospital patients in the UK have highest death risk from Covid-19, study finds

Friday, 19th June 2020, 2:08 pm
Updated Friday, 19th June 2020, 2:27 pm
The study also revealed that south Asian patients are more likely to be younger than their white counterparts (Credit: Shutterstock)

South Asian people are the most likely to die from coronavirus in the UK, after being admitted to hospital, according to a study.

The raised risk of death in hospital, found in the group, is partly due to high levels of diabetes.

Based on the findings the researchers who carried out the study have said policies aiming to protect people at work and deciding priorities for vaccines may now need to change.

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What happened in the study?

A total of 27 institutions across the UK, comprising universities, public health bodies, and 260 hospitals, took part in the study.

The study looked at data from 30,693 people who were admitted to hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales up until the middle of May.

What did the study reveal about South Asian patients’ risk of death?

The results found that those with south Asian backgrounds had a 19% increased risk of death from coronavirus in comparison to caucasian people.

Additionally researchers discovered that 40 per cent of those in the group who had a south Asian heritage also had type 1 or type 2 diabetes, compared with 25% of white groups.

The study also revealed that south Asian patients are more likely to be younger than their white counterparts

Prof Harrison said South Asian patients are, “12 years younger on average, that's a massive difference, and they tend not to have dementia, obesity or lung disease, but very high levels of diabetes."

What did the study conclude about the effect of diabetes on Covid-19 patients?

The diabetes was described as a “significant factor” in that group’s increased risk of death.

The findings have now been published online before they are published in a medical journal.

The study revealed that for white people needing hospital treatment for Covid-19, 290 will die out of 1000.

In comparison, out of every 1,000 South Asian patients 350 will die out of 1000.

Diabetes is so damaging for coronavirus patients because it increases the risk of infection and has the ability to damage the body's organs.

These factors could have a negative effect on the patients’ ability to survive a coronavirus infection.