A new study, the largest so far its authors say, confirms that race, age, ethnicity, and sex can raise a person’s chances of dying from COVID-19.
An analysis of more than 17 million people in England has pinpointed factors that can raise a person’s chances of dying from COVID-19, according to a story by The New York Times.
Data, that included health records from approximately 40 percent of England’s population, was collected by the United Kingdom’s National https://bt-hypnotise.com/ Service. Of 17,278,392 adults tracked over three months, 10,926 reportedly died of COVID-19 or COVID-19-related complications.
Dr. Ben Goldacre of the University of Oxford, one of the authors of the study, said, “We wanted to get a clear sense of the risks as an everyday person. Our starting pool is literally everybody.”
Published Wednesday in Nature (a journal publishing research in all fields of science and technology), the findings match reports from other countries that identify older people, men, racial and ethnic minorities, and those with underlying health conditions among the most vulnerable populations.
Dr. Goldacre’s team found that patients older than 80 were at least 20 times more likely to die than those in their 50s, and hundreds of times more likely to die than those below the age of 40. The scale of this relationship was “jaw-dropping,” Dr. Goldacre said.
- Men stricken with the virus had a higher likelihood of dying than women of the same age.
- Medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, severe asthma and compromised immunity were also linked to poor outcomes (agreeing with declarations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S.).
- A person’s chances of dying also tended to track with socioeconomic factors like poverty.
The data roughly mirrors what has been observed around the world and is not necessarily surprising, said Avonne Connor, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University.
Particularly compelling were the study’s findings on race and ethnicity, said Sharrelle Barber, an epidemiologist at Drexel University. Roughly 11 percent of the patients that were tracked identified as nonwhite, and these individuals were at a higher risk of dying than white patients, even when statistical adjustments were made to factor in age, sex and medical conditions.
Other reports have pointed to social and structural inequities that are overly burdening racial and ethnic minority groups around the world with the coronavirus’s worst effects. For example, certain medical conditions that can aggravate https://bt-hypnotise.com/, such as chronic heart disease, are more prevalent among Black people than white people.
The researchers removed such variables to focus solely on the effects of race and ethnicity. But because Black individuals are more likely to experience stress and be denied access to medical care in many parts of the world, the disparity in rates of heart disease may be influenced by racism, said Usama Bilal, an epidemiologist at Drexel University.
Experts agree that the causes of disparities are linked to structural racism. In the United States, Latino and Black residents are three times as likely to become infected by coronavirus as white residents, and nearly twice as likely to die.
Experts explain that due to the fact that many of these individuals work as front-line employees, or are tasked with essential in-person jobs that prevent them from sheltering in place at home. Some live in multi-generational households that can compromise effective physical distancing. Others must cope with language barriers and implicit bias when they seek medical care.
Any study publishing data on an ongoing, fast-shifting pandemic will inevitably be imperfect, said Julia Raifman, an epidemiologist at Boston University. But the new paper helps address “a real paucity of data on race, and these disparities are not just happening in the United States,” she goes on to say.
With regard to the racial inequities in this pandemic, Dr. Barber said, “We can learn from this study and improve on it. It gives us clues into what might be happening.”
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