Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Perspect Biol Med. 2003 Fall;46(4):473-83.

Getting the numbers right: statistical mischief and racial profiling in heart failure research.

Author information

  • Research Center, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455-0346, USA. Kahnx015@umn.edu

Abstract

The claim that blacks die from heart failure at a rate twice that of whites is informing efforts to develop and market the drug BiDil, which is currently undergoing clinical trials to be approved by the FDA as the first drug ever specified to treat African Americans--and only African Americans--for heart failure. The drug and its companion statistic have since come to play prominent roles in debates about so-called "racial profiling" in medicine and the legitimacy of using social categories of race in biomedical research. Nonetheless, this statistic is wrong. The most current data available place the black:white mortality ratio for heart failure at approximately 1.1:1. The article tells the story of attempts to get to the source of the supposed 2:1 mortality ratio and explores some of the implications of the acceptance of these erroneous data, both for the allocation of resources to combat disease and for our broader understanding of the nature and meaning of race.

PMID:
14593217
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Project MUSE
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk