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COVID-19 Outcomes in Minority Ethnic Groups: Do Obesity and Metabolic Risk Play a Role?

Coleman, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-8681-9070, Barber, T. M., van Rens, T. , Hanson, P., Coffey, A. & Oyebode, O. (2022). COVID-19 Outcomes in Minority Ethnic Groups: Do Obesity and Metabolic Risk Play a Role?. Current Obesity Reports, 11, pp. 107-115. doi: 10.1007/s13679-021-00459-5


Purpose of Review
Globally, minority ethnic groups have been at higher risk of COVID-19 mortality and morbidity than majority populations. This review outlines factors that may interact to create these inequalities and explores the hypothesis that differing levels of cardio-metabolic risk, according to ethnic group, play a role.

Recent Findings
Two UK Biobank studies have reported that the body mass index is more strongly associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 infection and mortality in minority ethnic populations than in White populations. A study of UK patients found that the strongest association between obesity and adverse COVID-19 outcomes was in people of Black ethnicity.

Differences in the prevalence of obesity and its metabolic sequelae have been shown to partly mediate ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 outcomes, although not always consistently. It is possible that ethnic differences in the consequences of obesity may explain some of the remaining disparity in COVID-19 risk.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Publisher Keywords: COVID-19, Ethnic inequalities, Obesity, Metabolic risk, Social determinants of health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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