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Study investigates relationship between ethnicity and deprivation on Covid-19 mortality


University of Wolverhampton academics and clinicians from the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) have published research into the impact of ethnicity and deprivation on severity of Covid-19 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open.

The team, led by Professor Dev Singh and Dr Simon Dunmore from the University’s Diabetes Research Group, based within the School of Medicine, has analysed clinical and demographic data for people that have suffered severely from Covid-19; those that have been admitted to hospital and those that passed away from the virus.

Dr Dunmore said: “Our study has shown an increased risk of severe Covid-19 for people of Black ethnicity, compared to white people. This result is similar to what has been found in other national and international studies.

“However, in contrast to these other studies, we found that people of a South Asian background had a lower risk compared with white and Black people.

“We’ve therefore recommended that analysis of such risks needs to be more nuanced and to take into account local variations; particularly since conveying an exaggerated risk could lead to people being deterred unnecessarily from seeking appropriate medical help, for example going to a hospital.”

The data was based on cases that were admitted to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, compared to the whole population of the city of Wolverhampton and surrounding area that the hospital serves.

The authors’ analysis from 1,000 admissions in the first wave, and corresponding data from the whole population (around 240,000 people) in and around the city, showed that ethnicity and deprivation played an important role but that these factors should be taken in the context of local demographic and other conditions. 

The other authors of the paper were: Professor Alan Nevill, University of Wolverhampton; Dr James Bateman, Consultant Rheumatologist, RWT; Dr Ananth Viswanath, Consultant Physician, RWT; Professor Sultan Mahmud, ‎Director of Innovation, Integration and Research, RWT; and Vijay Klaire, Integrated Care Business Intelligence Lead, RWT.  

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