LONDON: Black men and women are more than four times more likely to die with coronavirus than white people in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics said on Thursday.
The data, compiled from analysis conducted between March 2 and April 10, is the latest to indicate marked differences in how the outbreak affects different ethnic groups.
A University College London study also indicated a disproportionate effect on people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
The ONS analysis suggested black males in England and Wales were 4.2 times more likely to die after contracting Covid-19. The figure rose to 4.3 for black women.
It also found people of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian and mixed heritage had an increased risk of death compared to those from white backgrounds.
The ONS said its findings suggested differences were in part a result of geographic and socio-economic factors, such as deprivation.
“However, these factors do not explain all of the difference, suggesting that other causes are still to be identified,” it added.
Taking into account other factors, such as health and disability, the ONS said black men and women were 1.9 times more likely to die with Covid-19 than whites.
Bangladeshi and Pakistani males were 1.8 times more likely. That dropped to 1.6 for females.
All minority ethnic groups had increased mortality risks, except for Chinese women.
Black people accounted for six per cent of the overall deaths from Covid-19 during the analysis period. A total of 83.8 per cent of deaths were of people of white ethnicity.
The findings are similar to data from the state-run National Health Service in England, which said white people accounted for 82.7 per cent of deaths, and black people 5.7 per cent.
Ethnicity is not recorded on death certificates but there have been calls for it to be included to establish more accurate figures.
The ONS linked its data to the last national census in 2011 in which people self-reported their ethnicity.
The UCL study, published before the ONS findings after a study of NHS data on hospital deaths from March 1 to April 21, also found a greater risk for minority ethnic people.
They found the average risk of death was “around two to three times higher” for black, Asian and other ethnic minority groups when compared to the general population.
“Rather than being an equaliser, this work shows that mortality with Covid-19 is disproportionately higher in black, Asian and minority ethnic groups,” said UCL’s Delan Devakumar, the study’s co-author.
“It is essential to tackle the underlying social and economic risk factors and barriers to healthcare that lead to these unjust deaths.”