Higher COVID-19 deaths amongst more disadvantaged groups ‘sadly nothing new’ Health Foundation response to ONS data on deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socioeconomic deprivation

28 August 2020

Responding to the ONS release of the latest data on deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socioeconomic deprivation, Health Foundation Chief Executive, Dr Jennifer Dixon, said:

'These data make sobering reading. They show people living in the most disadvantaged areas of the UK are 2.2 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those in the least disadvantaged areas. 

'Sadly, this is nothing new. In more ordinary times, the poorest among us were almost twice as likely to die on any given day than the richest. It was bad for your health to be poor before the pandemic; COVID-19 has made it even worse. Much ill health is avoidable. 

'Today’s figures make it plain that the government has a huge task ahead to begin closing this health gap, which is growing. ‘Levelling up’ the nation’s health will only happen if there is a coordinated strategy to tackle it. Most importantly such a strategy should address  core underlying risks that erode health such as poverty, unemployment and low quality employment, poor housing and family breakdown.'

Media contact

Creina Lilburne
Creina.lilburne@health.org.uk
020 7664 4647

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