COVID-19: People of various ethnic origins now represent the highest proportion of intensive care patients since the start of the pandemic | UK News
People of diverse ethnic backgrounds currently constitute the highest proportion of coronavirus patients in intensive care in the UK since the start of the pandemic.
People living in the most disadvantaged areas of the country have also seen a larger increase in intensive care unit (ICU) admissions in recent months.
And the average age of all intensive care patients has fallen to just under 50 for the first time since March 2020, according to the latest data from the National Critical Care Audit and Research Center.
The total number of people in intensive care with COVID has declined in recent months, but the proportion of people from different ethnic backgrounds or living in a disadvantaged neighborhood has increased.
People of various ethnicities made up 50% of all intensive care units coronavirus patients in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in May – double the number last November and higher than the previous peak in August, when the total number of intensive care patients also fell.
A similar trend can be observed for people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.
Dr Charlotte Summers, critical care medicine reader at the University of Cambridge, said the numbers for disadvantaged and ethnically diverse patients are linked.
“It is difficult to separate the two groups because you are more likely to be in a more disadvantaged area if you come from an ethnic minority,” she said.
“There are more chances to have multigenerational housing in certain ethnic groups, and also deprivation.
“There are higher levels of socio-economic deprivation aligned with areas with high populations of ethnic minorities.”
The average age of people in intensive care with COVID has also dropped rapidly since January, with the launch of the vaccination program, falling from 11 years from March 2020 to 48.8 years.
Dr Raghib Ali, honorary medical consultant in acute medicine at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said it made sense that more young intensive care patients belong to ethnically diverse groups.
“Fifty percent of ethnic minorities are under 50, while only 25% of whites are,” said Dr Ali, also the government adviser on COVID and ethnicity.
“It doesn’t have to do with being less likely to get the vaccine, it’s the impact of age.
“Ethnic minorities also have higher rates of certain co-morbidities – for South Asians, it’s diabetes and blacks it’s obesity. These are all risk factors for ending up in intensive care,” and also apply to those in less-favored areas. “
Data shows that people of white descent are more likely to have the vaccine in England than other ethnicities, particularly black communities, where nearly a quarter of those over 80 have yet to receive their vaccine. first dose.
Dr Summers said: “I suspect the signals around deprivation and other demographics are also linked to vaccination. Some areas with high ethnic minority populations have very low vaccination.
“There can be a lot of pressure within communities and there is no point in blaming people who don’t want to take it, there are a lot of reasons people don’t engage in health care. health.
“We need to encourage vaccination and engage with these communities inside. It’s not just ethnic minorities who are reluctant to get vaccinated, so understanding and working with people is the way to go.”