Socioeconomic variations in rates of hospitalisation and mortality from COVID-19 in England

Sara Abdul-Karim Qasim Gharaibeh, Hossein Zarei

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Background/Aims As well as age and presence of comorbidities, research has suggested that socioeconomic factors, such as income and ethnicity, may affect an individual's risk of severe COVID-19. This study looked at the geographical variations in rates of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19, exploring whether socioeconomic factors were linked to these variations. Methods A cross-sectional retrospective quantitative study was conducted using data regarding the number of cases of COVID-19 cases during the first wave of the pandemic in England (March-July 2020). A total of 242624 confirmed cases of COVID-19 from across England were analysed. The extent to which predisposing factors, such as population density, age and comorbities, affected morbidity and mortality rates in the different regions was calculated. The impact of socioeconomic factors, such as employment status and ethnicity, were also analysed. Results There was a significant association between long unemployment and likelihood of death from COVID-19. Areas with higher proportions of individuals from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds were also more likely to have higher rates of hospitalisations and deaths from COVID-19. Overall, London was the region with the highest standardised rates of hospitalisation (67.73%) and mortality (20%). Conclusions Socioeconomic factors have contributed to the geographical variations in COVID-19 mortality across different areas of England. This implies that these factors should be taken into account when planning healthcare and public health strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Health Care Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in British Journal of Health Care Management, copyright © MA Healthcare, after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see


  • COVID-19
  • Geographical variations
  • Hospitalisation
  • Mortality
  • Unwanted variations


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