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BPI Director’s reaction to ONS report on deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socioeconomic deprivation

for About US

6 May 2020

BPI Director’s reaction to ONS report on deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socioeconomic deprivation.

An Office for National Statistics (ONS) release has compared the Covid-19 death rates in England (and also in Wales) by area deprivation levels.

It shows that the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a proportionally higher impact on the most deprived areas.

It also examined:

  • Age-standardised mortality rates, all deaths and deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19), Index of Multiple Deprivation, England, deaths occurring between 1 March and 17 April 2020.
  • Looking at deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19), the rate for the least deprived area was 25.3 deaths per 100,000 population and the rate in the most deprived area was 55.1 deaths per 100,000 population; this is 118% higher than the least deprived area.
  • In the least deprived area (decile 10), the age-standardised mortality rate for all deaths was 122.1 deaths per 100,000 population. In the most deprived area (decile one), the age-standardised mortality rate for all deaths was 88% higher than that of the least deprived, at 229.2 deaths per 100,000 population.

BPI’s Director, Professor David Gordon, was asked by the media to provide expert opinion on the reasons for this. Professor Gordon explained that: 

“There are a range of reasons why the death rates in the 30% of the most deprived areas are more than twice as high as in the richest areas.  Firstly, people in poorer areas are more likely to get a Covid-19 infection. They are more likely to be key workers (for example, care assistants, shop assistants, building workers, bus drivers, delivery drivers, etc.) so they are more likely to come into contact with infected people than their peers in richer areas who may be able to work from their homes...”

You can read his full response on our blog page here

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