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COVID-19: Disentangling Ethnicity and Cardiovascular Risk

BCS Editorial

By Ashwin Ajay and Ahmed Adlan

Pneumonia of unknown cause began spreading in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, which led to the discovery of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2) as the underlying cause.1 SARS CoV-2 virus causes the disease named COVID-19, which has drastically impacted the world in an unprecedented manner. Much research has been conducted to analyse the spread of the virus and to identify potential risk factors associated with transmission and adverse outcomes.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, it became evident that three factors were associated with worse health outcomes; these include age, co-morbidities and male gender.However concerns were raised over a possible association between ethnic groups and worse outcomes in COVID-19.3 Consequently, Public Health England published a report on the disparities in risk and outcomes of COVID-19, including ethnicity.4 In this editorial, we aim to discuss the apparent disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has on black and ethnic minorities and the possible underlying factors.

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