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Biochemical abnormalities in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a comparison of White vs. ethnic minority populations in the U.K.

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David R Taylor, Devon Buchanan, Wiaam Al-Hasani, Jessica Kearney, Tina Mazaheri, Ruvini N.K Ranasinghe, Georgios K Dimitriadis, Royce Vincent

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Pathology
Accepted/In press1 May 2021

King's Authors


Aims: Public Health England have identified that in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), death rates
amongst ethnic minorities far exceeds that of the White population. Whilst the increase in ethnic
minorities is likely to be multi-factorial; to date, no studies have looked to see whether values for
routine clinical biochemistry parameters differ between ethnic minority and White individuals.
Methods: Baseline biochemical data for 22 common tests from 311 SARs-CoV-2 positive patients
presenting to hospital in April 2020 in whom ethnicity data was available was retrospectively collected
and evaluated. Data comparisons between ethnic minority and White groups were made for all
patient data and for the subset of patients subsequently admitted to intensive care.
Results: When all patient data were considered, the ethnic minority population had statistically
significant higher concentrations of CRP, AST and GGT, whilst troponin T was higher in the White
group. A greater proportion of ethnic minority patients were subsequently admitted to intensive care,
but when the presenting biochemistry of this subset of patients was compared, no significant
differences were observed between ethnic minority and White groups.
Conclusion: Our data show for the first time that routine biochemistry at hospital presentation in
COVID-19 differs between ethnic minority and White groups. Amongst the markers identified, CRP
was significantly higher in the ethnic minority group pointing towards an increased tendency for
severe inflammation in this group.

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