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Epidemiology of the first wave of COVID-19 ICU admissions in South Wales—the interplay between ethnicity and deprivation

Baumer, Thomas, Phillips, Emily, Dhadda, Amrit and Szakmany, Tamas 2020. Epidemiology of the first wave of COVID-19 ICU admissions in South Wales—the interplay between ethnicity and deprivation. Frontiers in Medicine 7 , 569714. 10.3389/fmed.2020.569714

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On the 9th March 2020, the first patient with COVID-19 was admitted to ICU in the Royal Gwent Hospital (RGH), Newport, Wales. We prospectively recorded the rate of ICU admissions of 52 patients with COVID-19 over 60 days, focusing on the epidemiology of ethnicity and deprivation because these factors have emerged as significant risk factors. Patients were 65% (34 of 52) male and had a median (IQR) age of 55 (48–62) years. Prevalent comorbidities included obesity (52%); diabetes (33%), and asthma (23%). COVID-19 hospital and ICU inpatient numbers peaked on days 23 and 39, respectively—a lag of 16 days. The ICU mortality rate was 33% (17 of 52). People of black, Asian, and minority ethnic descent (BAME group) represented 35% of ICU COVID-19 admissions (18 of 52) and 35% of deaths (6 of 17). Amongst the BAME group, 72% (13 of 18) of patients were found to reside in geographical areas representing the 20% most deprived in Wales, vs. 27% of patients in the Caucasian group (9 of 33). Less than 5% of the population within the area covered by RGH are of BAME descent, yet this group had a disproportionately high ICU admission and mortality rate from COVID-19. The interplay between ethnicity and deprivation, which is complex, may be a factor in our findings. This in turn could be related to an increased prevalence of co-morbidities; higher community exposure; larger proportion of lower band key worker roles; or genetic polymorphisms. Keywords: COVID-19, ethnicity, BAME, deprivation, mortality

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Frontiers Media
ISSN: 2296-858X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 7 September 2020
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2020 08:45

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