Data recently released from the UK suggests that African Americans, Asians, and other racial/ethnic groups, have a higher probability of death from COVID-19, than their Caucasian counterparts. This comes from a report that researchers have been studying statistics on which individuals are most likely to suffer from sever coronavirus symptoms, in order to find the best strategy to combat the disease. Researchers had already concluded that age, and underlying health conditions are huge factors in how the body responds to the coronavirus, but wanted to gather as much information as possible and study if ethnicity played a part as well.
The UK data suggests that African Americans are more than 4 times as likely to die from COVID-19 complications, compared to Caucasians. The connection between race/ethnicity and the coronavirus seemed to create the Open SAFELY Collaborative, which is “a team of researchers from the university of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, determined to discover more potential risk factors”. Open SAFELY took data information on over 17 million adults who had registered with a general practitioner, for at least a year in the UK, between February 1st-April 21, 2020. Their study also agreed with the UK’s data, in that African Americans and Asians, are more vulnerable than Caucasians, when it comes to the risk of death from COVID-19
Possible reasons for the higher risk of severe coronavirus symptoms among certain ethnic groups:
In a recent report posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers believe that numerous factors can explain why some ethnic groups may be more at risk against combating the coronavirus, compared to other ethnicities. The CDC explains “health differences between racial and ethnic groups are often due to economic and social conditions, that are more common among some racial and ethnic groups than whites, and can isolate people from resources they need to prepare and respond to outbreaks”. The key reasons are broken down below.
- Ethnic minorities are more likely to live in (densely populated areas) giving them a higher probability to encounter someone with the coronavirus.
- Racial and ethnic minorities usually (live in neighborhoods further from medical facilities and grocery stores), making it less convenient to seek treatment once infected.
- (Work circumstances), such as workers in essential industries who risk their health, because their job requires them to work outside. Nearly 25% of African Americans and Latinos employed are in the service industry, as opposed to just 16% of Caucasians.
- (No health insurance) African Americans and Latinos are 2-3 times more likely to be uninsured, compared to Caucasians.
- (Underlying health conditions), this has long been a condition that has been known to have a critical impact on how a patient’s body reacts to COVID-19. Unfortunately, African Americans experience higher rates of chronic conditions than most other ethnic groups