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Oxford helps identify who is most likely to die from Covid-19

The academics say it's the world’s largest analysis of NHS patient records.

The University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have analysed data from more than 17 million UK adults, from February to the end of April.

Scientist have revealed that people of Asian and Black ethnic origin are at a higher risk of death from coronavirus than white people. They say more work needs to be done to fully understand why.

Results also confirmed that men are more likely to die from Covid-19 than women. 

Older people, those with uncontrolled diabetes and people with more severe asthma are also more at risk of mortality, according to the results.

The study also found that people from deprived backgrounds are at a higher risk of death due to the virus.

The findings has given the strongest evidence on risk factors associated with COVID-19 death, say the scientists. 

Professor Liam Smeeth, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at LSHTM, says, ‘We need highly accurate data on which patients are most at risk in order to manage the pandemic and improve patient care. The answers provided by this OpenSAFELY analysis are of crucial importance to countries around the world. For example, it is very concerning to see that the higher risks faced by people from BME backgrounds are not attributable to identifiable underlying health conditions’.

Dr Ben Goldacre, Director of the DataLab in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, says, ‘During a global health emergency we need answers quickly and accurately. That means we need very large, very current datasets. 

"The UK has phenomenal coverage and quality of data. We owe it to patients to keep their data secure; and we owe it to the global community to make good use of this data. That’s why we have developed a new highly secure model, taking the analytics to where the data already resides.’

Another study which has also released today has found that black men and women are over four times more likely to die from coronavirus than their white counterparts.

The Office for National Statistics says other ethnic minorities in England and Wales have a heightened risk, too.

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