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Diagnosing bias: Racial animus continues to negatively affect community health

Insight Article - December 19, 2018

Culture & Engagement

HR Legal

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggested that black patients hospitalized for heart attacks continue to receive different medical treatment than white patients.1 This is the latest in a series of reports of well-documented racial differences in medical care despite ongoing efforts by providers to eliminate or at least reduce them. These reports have wide-ranging implications for providers as well as the communities they serve.

In this study, researchers concluded that doctors were less likely to perform aggressive medical procedures or administer certain types of medications routinely prescribed under common treatment guidelines when it comes to black patients. It also found that black patients were almost 25% less likely to receive an antiplatelet medication that wasn’t aspirin, and they were 9% less likely to get medication to reduce blood lipid levels. Perhaps even more alarming, on several levels, is that black patients had an almost 30% lower chance of getting an angiogram and were 45% less likely to undergo therapies such as bypass surgery or angioplasty.

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About the Author

Joy Stephenson-Laws
Joy Stephenson-Laws JD
Founding and managing partner Stephenson, Acquisto & Colman Burbank, California


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