Greater Representation of African Americans Needed in Clinical Trials

February 25, 2014 | In an op ed, former US Surgeon General David Satcher urges higher participation by African Americans in clinical trials, writing that systematic underrepresentation of African Americans in these studies hinders our ability to understand racial health disparities. Citing the example of Alzheimer's disease, which is up to three times as common in black Americans as in non-Hispanic whites, Satcher suggests that a lack of information on African American patients contributes to our poor understanding of this disease's disproportionate impact. While he acknowledges a cultural reluctance among African Americans to participate in scientific research – a legacy of the gruesome Tuskegee syphilis study – Satcher also advocates for greater access to information about clinical trials for physicians who serve minority communities. Washington Post


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