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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008 Jul;19(7):1271-5. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2008040358. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Let's get serious about racial and ethnic disparities.

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Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, 2024 E. Monument Street, Suite 2-600, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care have been documented for over two decades in kidney disease, in a variety of other conditions, across settings, and for different medical and surgical interventions. We now have government reports that track progress on reducing racial disparities, but the pace of progress has been disheartening. The reasons for some of these disparities are known and include biologic, socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental factors as well as system, patient, and provider factors that affect access and quality of medical services. For other disparities, they remain an enigma. Solutions have been slow incoming in large part because we have not held ourselves, and others, accountable for better results. It is time to get serious about equitable health care for all of us.

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