Jews, other religious minorities have higher COVID-19 death rate, UK study says
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Jews, other religious minorities have higher COVID-19 death rate, UK study says

Britain’s Office for National Statistics reports Jewish males in England, Wales are twice as likely to die of coronavirus than Christian men; Jewish woman also at greater risk

Illustrative: Volunteers from the Hatzola ambulance service, wearing gloves and masks to protect against the coronavirus, wheel a patient into Royal London Hospital in London on March 29, 2020. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP)
Illustrative: Volunteers from the Hatzola ambulance service, wearing gloves and masks to protect against the coronavirus, wheel a patient into Royal London Hospital in London on March 29, 2020. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP)

Jews, Muslims and members of other minority religious groups in England and Wales have higher mortality rates from COVID-19 than Christians and those who don’t identify with a religion, according to a report Friday from Britain’s statistic agency.

The Office for National Statistics said when accounting for factors such as population density, socio-economic conditions and ethnicity, Jewish males had twice as high a risk of dying from coronavirus than Christian men.

Among females, Jews had 1.2 times a greater risk from dying of COVID-19 than Christians.

Overall, the coronavirus mortality rate was highest among Muslims, followed by Hindus, Jews and Sikhs, while those who say they have no religion had the lowest death rate among religious groups from COVID-19.

The report, which was based on statistics from March 2 to May 15, used 2011 census data on religious affiliation.

“For the most part, the elevated risk of certain religious groups is explained by geographical, socio-economic and demographic factors and increased risks associated with ethnicity. However, after adjusting for the above, Jewish males are at twice the risk of Christian males, and Jewish women are also at higher risk,” Nick Stripe, head of live events at the statistics agency, was quoted saying in the report.

He said further research was needed to understand risk levels.

In the period covered in the report, 453 Jews in England and Wales died of COVID-19, accounting for 1.2 percent of total deaths during that time, though they make up 0.5% of the population.

With 42,546 deaths as of Friday, the United Kingdom has the third highest COVID-19 mortality rate of any country, according to John Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker. It also has the fifth most infections, with 303,281.

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