Ethnicity and COVID-19: investigating the determinants of excess risk
The successfully awarded research project through a rapid funding call by Health Data Research UK, Office for National Statistics and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is led by Kamlesh Khunti and Tom Yates (University of Leicester). The research project is building on existing UKRI and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) work to use national data to answer this key COVID-19 vaccine research question.
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Although we know that people from minority ethnic groups, in particular people from South Asian, Black and African Caribbean communities, are up to four times more likely to have complications (become sicker) or die from COVID-19, we don’t know all the reasons as to why this happens.
This research aims to find out why minority ethnic groups may have a greater risk. For example, is the increased risk explained by a higher rate of other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, or by living in a more deprived area.
We will use large national datasets (collections of data) which are linked to COVID-19 outcome data. We are using this data to find out if inequality and differences in health status, lifestyle behaviours (such as obesity and smoking), environmental exposures (such as living in areas that are deprived and / or have high levels of air pollution) and overall deprivation lead to increased risk. This will then help to identify public health priorities for preventing and managing COVID-19.