Covid Scotland: Analysis of test results reveals those most at risk contracting virus

Those who lived in a deprived area and a multigenerational household in Scotland were more likely to test positive for coronavirus, than those who did not, according to an analysis of positive Covid tests.

In Scotland, the risk of testing positive appeared to increase until early 40s and decreased thereafter in the analysis of data from November 11 2020 to May 16 2021 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In contrast, in England, younger ages were markedly more likely to test positive than those from older ages.

North of the border, non-white people were more likely to test positive if they lived in a larger household, compared to in England, where larger households were more likely to test positive, regardless of ethnicity. In Wales, there was no evidence of an association between household size and the likelihood of testing positive.

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Meanwhile, in both Scotland and England, living in a major urban area, urban city or town, or rural town increased the likelihood of testing positive for coronavirus, when compared to those living in rural villages.

Staff from the Scottish Ambulance Service carry boxes of test kits from a van at a Covid Mobile Testing Unit in a car park in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow.

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North of the border, the study was based on results from 34,863 individuals who were participants in the ONS Coronavirus Infection Survey and was conducted mainly when the Alpha variant of coronavirus was dominant in the UK. The participants were all living in private households in the UK. Therefore, the study excludes those living in institutional settings such as hospitals and care homes.

The report said: “The effect of household size varied by ethnicity in Scotland. In England, both White and non-White individuals in larger households had a higher likelihood of testing positive. In Scotland, household size was associated with an increased likelihood of testing positive to a greater extent for non-White individuals compared with England.

"White individuals in Scotland were equally as likely to test positive regardless of household size, compared with White individuals in England.”

It added: “In Scotland, higher deprivation was associated with increased likelihood of testing positive to a greater extent for those in a multigenerational household, and to a lesser extent for non-multigenerational households, compared with England. In England, higher deprivation was associated with increased likelihood of testing positive regardless of whether an individual lives in a multigenerational household.”

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