Blog | Thursday, March 19, 2009

A disparity you can do something about

Just about every week, a new study comes out reporting on health disparities between men and women, blacks and whites, etc. Here at ACP Internist, we've discovered that this kind of research tends to attract little interest from our readers--maybe because it seems like the same sad, but inexplicable, story over and over again. No one favors disparities in care and health, but what do you do about them?

But the latest disparity study from the NEJM comes with some solutions. Blacks are vastly more likely to develop heart failure at a young age than whites, the researchers found. They also highlighted three frequent causes: hypertension, obesity, and systolic dysfunction. Control those conditions in young blacks and the disparity in heart failure should decline. Of course, that's easier said than done (if Americans could find a way to control obesity, we'd be looking very different as a country), but it at least gives the health care community something to work on, instead of just more bad news to bemoan.