Health inequalities among ethnic groups have increased since pandemic, evidence shows

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New research published in the journal suggests that the COVID-19 epidemic has worsened existing health disparities among diabetic ethnic minorities. Diabetes CareIt has been reported.

After highlighting the rise in health inequalities, academics at the University of Leicester urge care services to address the unjustifiable impact of the pandemic on people from ethnic minorities.

This review was conducted by researchers from the UK as well as the USA. They examined the larger structural barriers that could have led to severe COVID-19 outcomes for ethnic minorities living with diabetes.

These barriers include structural inequalities in housing, food, education and employment opportunities as well as neighborhood resources.

This extensive review shows that these barriers are important determinants for health in people with diabetes or COVID-19, especially those living in high-risk groups like ethnic minorities.

Researchers discovered that people from ethnic minorities can have severe coronavirus symptoms due to differences in comorbidities (the presence of one or several additional conditions that often co-occur with a primary condition), treatment access, and exposure risk.

Previous academic studies did not address wider structural issues that could cause health inequalities among people of ethnic minority backgrounds.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research, NIHR (Applied Research Collaboration) East Midlands and NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre supported the research.

Professor Kamlesh CBE, Director of NIHR ARC East Midlands and Real World Evidence Unit and Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine, University of Leicester, is the lead author of this review. He says that “diabetes can be a risk factor in severe COVID-19 and that the combination of these ethnic disparities may contribute to the inequalities of coronavirus outcomes” for people living with the condition.

“As we begin to plan for recovery and improved surveillance, as well as risk factor management, primary and specialist care services must immediately pay attention to the disproportionate effect the pandemic has had upon ethnic minority populations.

“Only if we take a long-term holistic view of our health care will we, particularly our most vulnerable populations be able to better cope with future pandemics.”

Obesity “accelerates” COVID-19 mortality risk among ethnic minorities

More information:
Kamlesh Khunti and colleagues, The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic On Ethnic Minority Groups with Diabetes Diabetes Care (2022). DOI: 10.2337/dc21-2495

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University of Leicester

Evidence shows that health inequalities between ethnic groups have increased after the pandemic (2022, August 11).
Retrieved 15 Aug 2022
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