• Tuesday, September 27, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Deprivation to play ‘pivotal role’ in ethnic health inequalities, says research

The prevalence of infections in England dropped from 0.49 per cent in February to 0.20 per cent in March. (Photo credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Sattwik Biswal

REDUCING deprivation could play a “pivotal role” in lessening health disparities among minority ethnic groups, a research has found.

During this time of pandemic, reduction in deprivation can in a way effect outcomes such as disproportionate Covid-19 infections, hospital admissions and deaths in south Asian and black communities, research says.

A hypothetical scenario was modelled by researchers from the University of Leicester, where 50 per cent most deprived from a sample of 407,830 south Asian, black and white individuals were lifted out of material deprivation.

The deprivation level was calculated based on unemployment, non-car ownership, non-home ownership and household overcrowding.

The data for the same was taken from the UK Biobank with linked Covid-19 outcomes occurring between March 16 and August 24 last year.

The model showed for south asian and black populations that more than 80 per cent are in the excess risk of being infected, developing severe disease and dying with Covid-19.

The findings of the research follows the landmark report from the government-backed Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which was published on Wednesday (31).

The research has highlighted, “the central role that deprivation is likely to play in driving ethnic health inequalities and the importance of policies working to reduce levels of deprivation within the whole population.”

Cameron Razieh, lead author and epidemiologist at the University of Leicester, said: “The method of analysis we used in this study upholds that inequalities in health or health behaviours in people living with high deprivation are, in the most part, the result of the high deprivation itself.

“If we take this as truth, then we can conclude that high levels of deprivation are helping drive Covid-19 ethnic disparities.”

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, joint senior author, added: “Material deprivation is a universal underpinning determinant of health inequalities within and between populations.”

The study was supported by the National Institute for Health Research’s Leicester Biomedical Research Centre and is published in the European Journal of Public Health.

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