Disaggregation of Race and Ethnicity Group Data Research-to-Practice Issues in Clinical Environments

Does Race Really Matter to Health Science?

The battle to use race as a parameter in research rages on. Research from the Journal of the American Medical Association, essentially the argument boils down to:

  • it’s hard to tell if you ask someone their race, 
  • does that correlate with the genetic makeup and 
  • when you ask these days, how many people answer “other”. 

We are all a mixture of African, Indian, and Caucasian. That makes a statement about the impact of race on a particular health parameter, more difficult.

Researchers want more specific info from the genes. If you lump everyone together based on where they live or how they describe themselves, you may not be able to offer more precision-guided therapy.

Why is this Important? I am inclined to acknowledge the validity of the argument to those who say race may be too much of a moving target for the reasons mentioned above. But I do know if you are Black in this country, you are at greater risk for poorer outcomes for most chronic diseases. So, let’s start there and work back to find out why.

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