INTRODUCTION: Although factors such as age, sex, diabetes, obesity and changes in certain laboratory investigations are important prognostic factors in COVID-19 infection, these may not apply to all ethnic/racial groups. We hypothesized differences in routine biochemistry and haematology indices in Caucasian and a combined group of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) patients who tested positive for COVID-19 who died, compared to survivors.
METHODS: We tested our hypothesis in 445 patients (229 Caucasian, 216 BAME) admitted to secondary care with proven COVID-19 infection, in whom standard routine laboratory indices were collected on admission.
RESULTS: After 28 weeks, 190 (42.7%) had died within 28 days of COVID diagnosis (97 Caucasians [42.4%], 93 BAMEs [43.1%], P = .923). A general linear model analysis found the ethnicity interaction with mortality to be significant for fibrinogen, ferritin and HbA1 c (after controlling for age). In a multivariate analysis, a neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio > 7.4 and a urea/albumin ratio > 0.28 increased the odds of death for both the Caucasian and the BAME group. Additional factors increasing the odds ratio in the BAME group included age >60 years and being diabetic.
CONCLUSION: Neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio and urea/albumin ratio are simple metrics that predict death to aid clinicians in determining the prognosis of COVID-19 and help provide early intensive intervention to reduce mortality. In the BAME groups, intensive monitoring even at younger age and those with diabetes may also help reduce COVID-19 associated mortality.
Bibliographical note© 2021 The Authors. International Journal of Laboratory Hematology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- ethnic groups
- mortality indicators