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Ethnic differences in COVID-19 mortality in the second and third waves of the pandemic in England during the vaccine roll-out: a retrospective, population-based cohort study

Ethnic differences in COVID-19 mortality in the second and third waves of the pandemic in England during the vaccine roll-out: a retrospective, population-based cohort study
Ethnic differences in COVID-19 mortality in the second and third waves of the pandemic in England during the vaccine roll-out: a retrospective, population-based cohort study
Objectives To assess whether ethnic differences in COVID-19 mortality in England have continued into the third wave and to what extent differences in vaccination rates contributed to excess COVID-19 mortality after accounting for other risk factors.

Design Cohort study of 28.8 million adults using data from the Office for National Statistics Public Health Data Asset.

Setting People living in private households or communal establishments in England.

Participants 28,816,020 adults (47% male) aged 30-100 years in 2020 (mean age = 56), who were present at the 2011 Census and alive on 8 December 2020.

Main outcome measures Death involving COVID-19 during the second (8 December 2020 to 12 June 2021) and third wave (13 June 2021 to 1 December 2021) of the pandemic. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) separately for males to females to summarise the association between ethnic group and death involving COVID-19 in each wave, sequentially adjusting for age, residence type, geographical factors, sociodemographic characteristics, pre-pandemic health, and vaccination status.

Results Age-adjusted HRs of death involving COVID-19 were higher for most ethnic minority groups than the White British group during both waves, particularly for groups with lowest vaccination rates (Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Black African and Black Caribbean). In both waves, HRs were attenuated after adjusting for geographical factors, sociodemographic characteristics, and pre-pandemic health. Further adjusting for vaccination status substantially reduced residual HRs for Black African, Black Caribbean, and Pakistani groups in the third wave. The only groups where fully-adjusted HRs remained elevated were the Bangladeshi group (men: 2.19, 95% CI 1.72 to 2.78; women: 2.12, 95% CI 1.58 to 2.86) and men from the Pakistani group (1.24, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.46).

Conclusion Public health strategies to increase vaccination uptake in ethnic minority groups could reduce disparities in COVID-19 mortality that cannot be accounted for by pre-existing risk factors.

What is already known on this topic Ethnic minority groups in England have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during the first and second waves.

COVID-19 vaccination uptake is also lower among many ethnic minority groups, particularly Bangladeshi, Black African, Black Caribbean, and Pakistani groups.

There is a paucity of research into whether ethnic disparities in COVID-19 mortality have continued into the third wave and the extent to which differences in vaccination uptake contribute to differences in COVID-19 mortality.

What this study adds Using linked data on 28.8 million adults in England, we find that rates of COVID-19 mortality have remained higher than the White British group for most ethnic minority groups during the vaccine roll-out, notably for the Bangladeshi, Black African, Black Caribbean, and Pakistani groups.

After adjustment for geographical factors, sociodemographic characteristics, pre-pandemic health status, and vaccination status, the only groups with elevated rates of COVID-19 mortality during the third wave were the Bangladeshi group and men from the Pakistani group, suggesting that increasing vaccination uptake in ethnic minority groups could reduce ethnic disparities in COVID-19 mortality.
Bosworth, Matthew L
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Ahmed, Tamanna
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Larsen, Tim
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Lorenzi, Luke
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Morgan, Jasper
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Ali, Raghib
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Goldblatt, Peter
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Islam, Nazrul
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Khunti, Kamlesh
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Raleigh, Veena
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Ayoubkhani, Daniel
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Bannister, Neil
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Glickman, Myer
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Nafilyan, Vahe
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Bosworth, Matthew L
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Ahmed, Tamanna
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Larsen, Tim
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Lorenzi, Luke
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Morgan, Jasper
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Ali, Raghib
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Goldblatt, Peter
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Islam, Nazrul
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Khunti, Kamlesh
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Raleigh, Veena
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Ayoubkhani, Daniel
cfd1b0e2-6685-4edb-a53f-299582b89280
Bannister, Neil
c5d795ff-d763-4263-8186-ab7281bcefc1
Glickman, Myer
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Nafilyan, Vahe
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Bosworth, Matthew L, Ahmed, Tamanna, Larsen, Tim, Lorenzi, Luke, Morgan, Jasper, Ali, Raghib, Goldblatt, Peter, Islam, Nazrul, Khunti, Kamlesh, Raleigh, Veena, Ayoubkhani, Daniel, Bannister, Neil, Glickman, Myer and Nafilyan, Vahe (2022) Ethnic differences in COVID-19 mortality in the second and third waves of the pandemic in England during the vaccine roll-out: a retrospective, population-based cohort study. medRxiv. (doi:10.1101/2022.02.14.22270940).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives To assess whether ethnic differences in COVID-19 mortality in England have continued into the third wave and to what extent differences in vaccination rates contributed to excess COVID-19 mortality after accounting for other risk factors.

Design Cohort study of 28.8 million adults using data from the Office for National Statistics Public Health Data Asset.

Setting People living in private households or communal establishments in England.

Participants 28,816,020 adults (47% male) aged 30-100 years in 2020 (mean age = 56), who were present at the 2011 Census and alive on 8 December 2020.

Main outcome measures Death involving COVID-19 during the second (8 December 2020 to 12 June 2021) and third wave (13 June 2021 to 1 December 2021) of the pandemic. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) separately for males to females to summarise the association between ethnic group and death involving COVID-19 in each wave, sequentially adjusting for age, residence type, geographical factors, sociodemographic characteristics, pre-pandemic health, and vaccination status.

Results Age-adjusted HRs of death involving COVID-19 were higher for most ethnic minority groups than the White British group during both waves, particularly for groups with lowest vaccination rates (Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Black African and Black Caribbean). In both waves, HRs were attenuated after adjusting for geographical factors, sociodemographic characteristics, and pre-pandemic health. Further adjusting for vaccination status substantially reduced residual HRs for Black African, Black Caribbean, and Pakistani groups in the third wave. The only groups where fully-adjusted HRs remained elevated were the Bangladeshi group (men: 2.19, 95% CI 1.72 to 2.78; women: 2.12, 95% CI 1.58 to 2.86) and men from the Pakistani group (1.24, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.46).

Conclusion Public health strategies to increase vaccination uptake in ethnic minority groups could reduce disparities in COVID-19 mortality that cannot be accounted for by pre-existing risk factors.

What is already known on this topic Ethnic minority groups in England have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during the first and second waves.

COVID-19 vaccination uptake is also lower among many ethnic minority groups, particularly Bangladeshi, Black African, Black Caribbean, and Pakistani groups.

There is a paucity of research into whether ethnic disparities in COVID-19 mortality have continued into the third wave and the extent to which differences in vaccination uptake contribute to differences in COVID-19 mortality.

What this study adds Using linked data on 28.8 million adults in England, we find that rates of COVID-19 mortality have remained higher than the White British group for most ethnic minority groups during the vaccine roll-out, notably for the Bangladeshi, Black African, Black Caribbean, and Pakistani groups.

After adjustment for geographical factors, sociodemographic characteristics, pre-pandemic health status, and vaccination status, the only groups with elevated rates of COVID-19 mortality during the third wave were the Bangladeshi group and men from the Pakistani group, suggesting that increasing vaccination uptake in ethnic minority groups could reduce ethnic disparities in COVID-19 mortality.

Text
2022.02.14.22270940v1.full - Author's Original
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e-pub ahead of print date: 15 February 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 470499
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/470499
PURE UUID: 54c3ed0a-a992-4770-b3e2-fb7027acbfc2
ORCID for Nazrul Islam: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3982-4325

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Date deposited: 11 Oct 2022 17:02
Last modified: 12 Oct 2022 02:07

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Contributors

Author: Matthew L Bosworth
Author: Tamanna Ahmed
Author: Tim Larsen
Author: Luke Lorenzi
Author: Jasper Morgan
Author: Raghib Ali
Author: Peter Goldblatt
Author: Nazrul Islam ORCID iD
Author: Kamlesh Khunti
Author: Veena Raleigh
Author: Daniel Ayoubkhani
Author: Neil Bannister
Author: Myer Glickman
Author: Vahe Nafilyan

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