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(CNN) - People from ethnic minorities in the UK are up to 50% more likely to die from coronavirus than their white peers, according to a government study.
The analysis, conducted by the government agency Public Health England (PHE), found that people of Bangladeshi descent who tested positive for the virus were twice as likely to die as their white British peers.
People from other minority communities, including those of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani and Caribbean descent, also showed a 10% to 50% higher risk of death compared to white Brits, according to the report.
Members of black ethnic groups were also more likely to be diagnosed with covid-19. The diagnosis rate per 100,000 population was 486 for black women and 649 for black men, compared to 220 for white women and 224 for white men.
The document was released on Tuesday, after the UK government denied British media reports of a delay in disclosure due to protests in the United States over the murder of George Floyd.
The analysis, commissioned in April by England medical director Chris Whitty, amid fears that the coronavirus pandemic would "disproportionately" affect black communities and ethnic minorities, was due to be released in late May, according to PHE .
In response to CNN questions Tuesday morning about why the report was delayed, a spokesman for the Government Health Department said: "The ministers received the initial findings yesterday (Monday). They are being reviewed quickly and a report will be released this week. ”
"It is not true to say that this has been delayed due to world events," the spokesperson added.
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In a speech to Parliament on Tuesday night, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Being black or from an ethnic minority is a major risk factor (for the coronavirus)."
Hancock admitted that there was "much more work to be done to understand the key factors in these disparities, the relationships between different risk factors" and what they can do to "close the gap."
I am "determined that we continue to develop our understanding and shape our response," added the Secretary of Health.
Hancock emphasized that the report not only analyzed ethnicity, but also found that age was the highest risk factor for covid-19, and that older patients were more likely to die than younger ones.
Among those who tested positive for the virus, those older than 80 were considered 70 times more likely to die than those younger than 40.
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Combination of factors
PHE's analysis found that the link between ethnicity and health was "complex and likely the result of a combination of factors."
"First, people in BAME communities (black and ethnic minority) are likely to be at increased risk of contracting the infection," the study says.
"This is because BAME people are more likely to live in urban areas, in overcrowded homes, in disadvantaged areas, and to have jobs that expose them to greater risk," he explains.
"People in BAME groups are also more likely to be born abroad than British white people, which means that they may face additional barriers to accessing services that are created, for example, by cultural and language differences" he adds.
The groups are likely to "also be at higher risk for poorer results once they acquire the infection," according to the agency report.
"For example, some comorbidities (the simultaneous presence of two diseases or conditions in a patient) that increase the risk of worse outcomes compared to covid-19 are more common among certain ethnic groups," the report says.
"People of Bangladeshi and Pakistani descent have higher rates of cardiovascular disease than people of British white ethnicity, and people of black Caribbean and African black people have higher rates of hypertension compared to other ethnic groups," the report says. .
PHE analyzed the effect of sex, age, deficiencies, and region on survival among confirmed covid-19 cases, but did not consider the effect of occupation, obesity, or comorbidities.
The publication came at a time when United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned that covid-19 had exposed inequalities within society and was having a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minorities, including people of African descent.
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"The data tells us of a devastating impact of covid-19 on people of African descent, as well as ethnic minorities in some countries, including Brazil, France, the United Kingdom and the United States," said Bachelet.
"In many other places we assume that similar patterns are occurring, but we cannot say for sure given that data disaggregated by race and ethnicity is simply not collected or reported," he added.