In contrast, most people from ethnic minority groups have lower mortality from some leading causes of death, eg, major cancers (such as breast, lung and colorectal cancer), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, the incidence of some less common cancers is higher in some groups, for example, liver cancer in Asian groups and prostate, uterine, blood cancer in Black groups.
There is geographical variation too: ONS data shows the north of England and the Midlands having higher mortality than the south and London and repeats earlier ONS data findings that mortality overall and from most conditions is highest in deprived areas. Ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by deprivation, a key determinant of health status in all communities. The impacts of geography also need to be considered, as significant proportions of ethnic minority communities reside in areas of high mortality.
The ONS data is a powerful reminder that ethnic, deprivation-related and regional health inequalities are driven primarily by conditions that are largely preventable, eg, cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and cancers caused by, eg, smoking and obesity. Moreover, this excess mortality reflects even greater burdens of ill-health, blighting the lives of individuals, families and communities. As the health, societal and economic impacts of long-term ill health continue to burgeon, pressures on NHS capacity and costs continue to mount, and health inequalities continue to widen, reducing the prevalence of potentially preventable conditions, especially among high-risk groups, has never been more urgent.
A complex interplay of factors drives ethnic differences in health, including the environment, socio-economic factors, where people live, health-related behaviours, susceptibility to disease, access to and uptake of services.
Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to improving the health of different ethnic communities. The government, NHS England and local government leaders, and others need to understand these nuanced differences. To improve the health of different ethnic minority communities, they must tailor policies to the specific needs of those communities, in the context of the multiple factors driving their health outcomes, including the local area in which they live. Without such evidence-based approaches, they will not be able to meet several of their key goals, for example, around improving population health and tackling unequal outcomes.
Policies to reduce the prevalence of behavioural risk factors (such as obesity, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, inadequate physical activity), which are the highest contributors to levels of and inequalities in mortality, must take precedence. Early detection and management of metabolic risk factors, such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood glucose levels, also the leading contributors to mortality, is critical for reducing the onset and progression of common conditions that kill prematurely but are potentially preventable, eg, CVD, diabetes and cancer.
It is imperative that government, health and care leaders and others work together to reduce the demand for health care, and do not focus only on meeting demand for health care. The government’s major conditions strategy provides an opportunity for overdue improvements in the declining health of England’s population, and for reducing health inequalities, but it must be accompanied by adequate political resolve and resources to deliver more effective and timely interventions for preventing and managing ill health.
The document shows that there are no obvious racial disparities there are only racial differences. ALL people show various likelihoods to succomb to different cause of death. I suggest that these differences are highly likely to be genomic as it has been shown for Covid.
Racial and geographic differences can be easily shown to have deprivation as the key factor. We should stop analysing the life out of medical inequities, and help those in deprivation which by the way will help proportionally more ethnic minority groups.
Most deprived people have serious health issues. Most deprived people cannot reach or do not trust appropriate help. We need to find a way to find these people and resolve their issues. The covid community champions were a first step to do this and they should be resusitated.