Background: Reports of ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 outcomes are conflicting and the reasons for any differences in outcomes are unclear. We investigated ethnic inequalities in critical care admission patterns, the need for invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), and in-hospital mortality, among hospitalised patients with COVID-19.
Methods: We undertook a prospective cohort study in which dedicated research staff recruited hospitalised patients with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 from 260 hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales, collecting data directly and from records between 6th February and 8th May 2020 with follow-up until 22nd May 2020. Analysis used hierarchical regression models accounting for confounding, competing risks, and clustering of patients in hospitals. Potential mediators for death were explored with a three-way decomposition mediation analysis.