Background Ethnic minorities account for 34% of critically ill patients with COVID-19 despite constituting 14% of the UK population. Internationally, researchers have called for studies to understand deterioration risk factors to inform clinical risk tool development. Methods Multicentre cohort study of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 (n=3671) exploring determinants of health, including Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) subdomains, as risk factors for presentation, deterioration and mortality by ethnicity. Receiver operator characteristics were plotted for CURB65 and ISARIC4C by ethnicity and area under the curve (AUC) calculated. Results Ethnic minorities were hospitalised with higher Charlson Comorbidity Scores than age, sex and deprivation matched controls and from the most deprived quintile of at least one IMD subdomain: indoor living environment (LE), outdoor LE, adult skills, wider barriers to housing and services. Admission from the most deprived quintile of these deprivation forms was associated with multilobar pneumonia on presentation and ICU admission. AUC did not exceed 0.7 for CURB65 or ISARIC4C among any ethnicity except ISARIC4C among Indian patients (0.83, 95% CI 0.73 to 0.93). Ethnic minorities presenting with pneumonia and low CURB65 (0-1) had higher mortality than White patients (22.6% vs 9.4%; p<0.001); Africans were at highest risk (38.5%; p=0.006), followed by Caribbean (26.7%; p=0.008), Indian (23.1%; p=0.007) and Pakistani (21.2%; p=0.004). Conclusions Ethnic minorities exhibit higher multimorbidity despite younger age structures and disproportionate exposure to unscored risk factors including obesity and deprivation. Household overcrowding, air pollution, housing quality and adult skills deprivation are associated with multilobar pneumonia on presentation and ICU admission which are mortality risk factors. Risk tools need to reflect risks predominantly affecting ethnic minorities.
Soltan, M. A., Varney, J., Sutton, B., Melville, C. R., Lugg, S. T., Parekh, D., … Thickett, D. R. (2021). COVID-19 admission risk tools should include multiethnic age structures, multimorbidity and deprivation metrics for air pollution, household overcrowding, housing quality and adult skills. BMJ Open Respiratory Research, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjresp-2021-000951