Public Health Bulletin

Coronavirus Inequalities in City and Hackney

14 August 2020, No.298

Residents of the City of London and Hackney comprise a young and diverse population with a relatively small proportion of elderly. The coronavirus pandemic has enhanced existing health and socioeconomic inequalities.

National data
At a national level, the Public Health England (PHE) review on disparities in diagnosis and outcomes of COVID-19 finds that diagnosis and death rates increased with age in both males and females. People living in deprived areas had higher diagnosis and death rates compared to those living in less deprived areas. Death rates from COVID-19 were highest among people of Black and Asian ethnic groups.

Local data
We analysed City and Hackney COVID-related health data for the period between March and May inclusive. In that period, there were 771 COVID-19 cases, 230 deaths as well as 807 COVID-related hospital admissions. Age standardised rates, adjusting for the age structure of the underlying population, were calculated by sex, ethnic group and deprivation quintile. Ethnic groups are not reported on death certificates but country of birth is. This was used in the analyses.

  • The age specific rates for cases, admissions and deaths increased with age (Figure 1).
  • The age standardised rates for cases, deaths and admissions were significantly higher in males than females (Figure 2).
  • The age standardised rates for cases and admissions in Black people were significantly higher than for White, Asian and Mixed ethnicities. The rates for “Other” ethnicity were high relative to the proportion of the City and Hackney population which is estimated to fall into this category: 5% of population versus 15% of cases and 18% of admissions were coded as Other ethnic group (Figure 3). 
  • The age standardised diagnosis rate was higher in people from more deprived areas compared to those from less deprived areas but the difference was not significant. People from more deprived areas had a significantly higher rate of admission compared to people from less deprived areas. However, the age-standardised death rates did not follow this trend (Figure 4).
  • The crude rate of deaths by country of birth found significantly higher rates in people born in Asia, Africa and the Americas compared to people born in the UK or Europe. Countries in the West Indies made up 90% of those in the Americas group (Figure not shown).


Covid data sources:
Cases from PHE; hospital admissions from NHS Digital; mortality statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
Population sources:
Figures 1, 2: Greater London Authority (GLA) 2018 Housing-led population projections by sex and age (2020)
Figure 3: GLA 2016 Housing-led population projections by ethnic group, sex and age (2020)
Figure 4: ONS Mid Year Population projection by age and lower super output area (2018)

Copyright © 2020 City & Hackney Public Health Team, All rights reserved.

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