Health and forensic databases may contribute to racial disparities

October 4, 2011, Public Library of Science

There is too little attention paid in national and international public policy circles to the digital divide in health and law enforcement databases, says a new article in this week's PLoS Medicine.

These are the conclusions of Peter Chow-White from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada and Troy Duster from University of California, Berkeley, USA who examined the question of whether the "digital divide" in health and forensic DNA databases is contributing to .

Over the last decade, the authors say, the majority of in population studies are from individuals of European origin and individuals from Asian, African, Latino, and aboriginal groups are underrepresented. As a result, the authors argue, "forensic DNA databases are growing to mirror racial disparities in arrest practices and incarceration rates. Racial disparities in forensic DNA databases between European and African American and Latino groups is inverted from health DNA databases."

Explore further: Link between racial discrimination and stress described in new study

More information: Chow-White PA, Duster T (2011) Do Health and Forensic DNA Databases Increase Racial Disparities? PLoS Med 8(10): e1001100. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001100

Related Stories

Link between racial discrimination and stress described in new study

September 14, 2011
The consequences of psychological stress, resulting from racial discrimination, may contribute to racial health disparities in conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other age-associated diseases. This is ...

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.