People of Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian heritage more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people - research

7th May 2020   •   article
by Barfi Culture Team
Twitter @barfi_culture.
Credit: Mayor of London
People of South Asian backgrounds are significantly more likely to die from the Coronavirus than those of white backgrounds, a ground-breaking review has found.

The findings were today published by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS). You can read the full study from here.

It is the first time in the world a population-wide study broken down by ethnicity has been done. The ONS says:

  • People of Bangladeshi and Pakistani, Indian, and Mixed ethnicities also had statistically significant raised risk of death involving COVID-19 compared with those of White ethnicity.


  • Males in the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic group were 1.8 times more likely to have a COVID-19-related death than White males when age and other socio-demographic characteristics and measures of self-reported health and disability were taken into account; for females, the figure was 1.6 times more likely.


  • The ONS analysis found that while part of the difference in mortality rates was explained by poverty and other circumstances, a significant part of the difference in death rates "has not yet been explained".

    The research also found that Black males are 4.2 times more likely to die from a COVID-19-related death and Black females are 4.3 times more likely than White ethnicity males and females.

    Many have speculated that genetic factors, such as Vitamin D deficiency, or dietary habits also play a part in explaining differences. However that has not yet been confirmed in scientific studies and will need more research.

    Here is the ONS figures as a graph, adjusted for for socio-economic factors.

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