If our patients are diverse, why are clinical trials so white?

Despite facing worse health outcomes, minority populations are often left out of clinical trials and miss the opportunity to participate in life-saving research.

By Ling Song, PMLIVE

How many times have you been told to put on sunscreen to prevent skin cancer? About 71% of US adults use some form of sun protection when outdoors on a warm, sunny day – an increase of 3% from 2008.

Now, what if I told you that despite these public health initiatives to increase the use of sunscreen, the benefits of this may only be seen by a select few members of the population?

According to the largest study (to date) in different racial and ethnic populations across the US, there was no evidence to support the association of UV exposure and melanoma incidence in black or Hispanic populations – studies assessing the association of UV radiation and melanoma exclude patients of darker skin types.

Worryingly, this lack of diversity in clinical trials is common not only in dermatology, but across healthcare as a whole, ranging from oncology to cardiology, especially when pertaining to marginalised populations.

Despite facing worse health outcomes, marginalised populations are often left out of clinical trials and miss the opportunity to participate in research on potentially life-saving treatments. Read more …



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