There is mounting evidence that socioeconomic deprivation increases the risk of death in people suffering from COVID-19 disease, independent of race or associated chronic health conditions.
The Scottish Government collects data on socioeconomic deprivation on a yearly basis using a tool called the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, which breaks down the degree of deprivation in each area of the country according to income, employment, educational, health and housing indicators.
This study will investigate what deprivation indicators contribute to higher death rates among patients admitted to hospital with confirmed COVID-19 disease.
In October 2023, a journal article was published to share the results of this research: access the journal article
In conclusion, the research team found that overall deprivation status (as defined by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) was not reliably associated with deaths due to COVID-19. However, they found that the risk of death was doubled for those living in areas with higher levels of income-related deprivation and/or higher numbers of hospitalisations due to alcohol consumption.
Therefore, for future allocation of resources, there may be greater benefit in looking at specific measures of deprivation - such as income, education level, crime rates, access to amenities - rather than solely the overall deprivation level, particularly in areas where overall affluence may mask pockets of deprivation.