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Disabled people at greater Covid death risk - ONS research

18 June 2021

Research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has found that Disabled people in England are at an  increased risk of death involving Coronavirus (COVID-19).

From 24 January 2020 to 28 February 2021, there were 105,213 deaths involving COVID-19 in England; 58% were the deaths of people who were Disabled. The ONS asks Disabled people to identify as “more-disabled” or “less-disabled”. After adjusting for age, "more-disabled" people were more than three times as likely to die from causes involving COVID-19 than non-disabled people. "Less-disabled" people were almost twice as likely to die from causes involving COVID-19 than non-disabled people.

Compared to non-disabled people, the relative risk of death was substantially higher for younger disabled people. Among those aged 30 to 69 years, the risk was 8.5 times greater for more-disabled women and 5.4 times greater for more-disabled men compared with their non-disabled counterparts.

The increased risk of COVID-19 mortality for both younger and older disabled people was partly explained by differences in living circumstances, measures of disadvantage, and pre-existing health conditions. These findings suggest that a combination of these factors contributed towards the increased risk in disabled people.