May 8, 2020 - Health

Black men and women in the U.K. twice as likely to die from coronavirus as white people

In this image, people stand in a row outside and clap, some holding signs
Applause for health care workers at Salford Royal Hospital on May 7 in Salford, England. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Black people in England and Wales are roughly twice as likely to die from the novel coronavirus than white people, the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics reported in new data released Thursday.

The big picture: Health officials in the U.S. have outlined causes for the heightened coronavirus risks for people of color in America: chronic health conditions and the effects of economic inequality. The NHS analysis found that the disparity is partly caused by socioeconomic disadvantages.

What else they found: Bangladeshi and Pakistani men and women are also approximately twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than white people, the analysis found.

  • “The underlying health and social disparities that drive inequality in health and life expectancy have been there all along, and this virus has just laid them bare,” Riyaz Patel, an associate professor of cardiology at University College London, told the New York Times. “This pandemic has not been the great leveler. It’s been the great magnifier, as it were.”

Where it stands: The U.K. is reporting over 30,000 deaths and nearly 208,000 cases, per Johns Hopkins data. 970 people have recovered in the region.

Methodology: The U.K.'s Office for National Statistics looked at data from deaths recorded between March 2 to April 10 that could be linked to the 2011 Census. Due to processing delays of death certificates, more deaths could have occurred than those found in the study.

Go deeper: African Americans are disproportionately dying from coronavirus

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