In a new report from the Office for National Statistics, disparities in the age-standardised case rates for COVID-19 in England are analysed by sociodemographic characteristics

COVID virus visualisation two tone

A new report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has highlighted disparities in the age-standardised case rates for COVID-19 in England by sociodemographic characteristics, including ethnicity, religion, country of birth, socioeconomic status, and disability. The report presents the data for the period between 1 September 2020 and 25 July 2021, when the second and the third waves of the COVID-19 pandemic occurred in England.

For the study, researchers linked the NHS Test and Trace data to the ONS Public Health Data Asset. The study population comprised individuals aged 10 years or older in 2020, residing in England, registered with a GP as of 1 November 2019, enumerated at the 2011 Census, and alive as of 1 September 2020. The sociodemographic characteristics were gathered using data from postcodes retained in GP records.

The highest age-standardised case rates (cases per 100,000 person-weeks) of COVID-19 during the second wave of the pandemic were seen in the Pakistani (378.1) and Bangladeshi (390.6) ethnic groups, whereas the White British ethnic group (234.7) had the highest case rate during the third wave.

The COVID-19 case rates (cases per 100,000 person-weeks) were highest for individuals who identified as Muslim (339.3) and Sikh (325.3) during the second wave, whereas individuals who identified as Christian (235.1) had the highest rates during the third wave.

The COVID-19 case rates (cases per 100,000 person-week) were higher among individuals born outside of the UK than those born in the UK (205.2 versus 172.6) during the second wave; however, the trend reversed during the third wave (146.1 versus 225.0).

During the second and third waves, COVID-19 case rates were highest in the most deprived areas of England. Additionally, individuals residing in urban areas had higher COVID-19 case rates than those residing in rural areas across the second and third waves of the pandemic.

Overall, disabled individuals had higher COVID-19 case rates than nondisabled individuals across the second and third waves of the pandemic.

This is the first time that the ONS has produced such an analysis; however, there is scope for further research to better understand the inequalities in COVID-19 case rates.

This article originally appeared on  Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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