Does COVID-19 affect some ethnicities more than others?

Bottom Line:

There is growing evidence that COVID-19 disproportionately affects individuals from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.


Kirby, T. et al. Evidence mounts on the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on ethnic minorities. The Lancet (2020). DOI: 10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30228-9

Date Published:

8 May 2020


Several research articles have described ethnic minorities as being more likely to be affected by COVID-19. For example, one report from the United Kingdom suggests that minorities are more likely to reside in areas with a high prevalence of COVID-19 cases. Another report published by the United States indicates that African Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and more likely to die from the infection. The cause of these racial disparities is currently unknown. However, researchers believe it may be due to an intersection of variables that renders these populations more vulnerable. Moreover, they emphasize the need for research and policy change to mitigate these disparities.

Summary by: Jackie Tsang