Review examines diversity in dermatology clinical trials

January 4, 2017, The JAMA Network Journals

Racial and ethnic groups can be underrepresented in medical research. So what is the makeup of participants in randomized clinical trials of common dermatologic conditions? A review article published online by JAMA Dermatology attempts to answer that question.

Arash Mostaghimi, M.D., M.P.A., M.P.H., of Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and coauthors analyzed 626 articles reporting for acne, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and eczema, vitiligo, alopecia areata, seborrheic dermatitis and lichen planus because the conditions are common and lack specific racial predilection.

Of the 626 articles, 97 studies were exclusively conducted in the United States and 164 were partially conducted in the United States; 58 of the 97 studies conducted exclusively within the United States reported on the racial and ethnic demographics of .

Among those 58 studies conducted exclusively within the United States that recorded race/ethnicity, 74.4 percent of the 13,681 participants were white. Among these studies, 46 noted other than white and nonwhite for a total of 11,140 participants, of whom 72 percent where white, 13 percent were African American, 14.7 percent were recorded as Hispanic and 3.3 percent were recorded as Asian.

"While those trials that fully characterized race achieved recruitment of a proportional number of African American participants (compared with the U.S. population at 13 percent), those same trials did not achieve such proportionality with respect to ethnicity. Although 17 percent of the population identifies as Hispanic by ethnicity, only 14.7 percent of participants in those same studies identified ethnically as Hispanic. Moreover, the dearth of full reporting of ethnicity and race suggests that the actual racial and ethnic makeup of many studies may be decidedly more homogenous," according to the article.

Articles about eczema and acne were more likely to include more than 20 percent racially/ethnically diverse than psoriasis studies, the authors report.

The review concludes: "Journals and funding sources can reinforce our diverse clinical trial population by continuing to prioritize racial, ethnic, and genetic diversity within the articles they fund and publish; requiring reporting of racial and ethnic data in all dermatology RCTs will lead us even further. These combined efforts will enable dermatology to be an example within medicine for how to best achieve diversity within research and, by extension, clinical practice."

Explore further: Rx subsidy ups persistence to breast cancer hormone therapy

More information: JAMA Dermatology. Published online January 4, 2017. DOI: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.4129

Related Stories

Rx subsidy ups persistence to breast cancer hormone therapy

October 25, 2016
(HealthDay)—For white, black, and Hispanic women, receipt of a prescription subsidy is associated with improved persistence to breast cancer hormone therapy, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in the Journal ...

Nearly 77 percent of pulmonary clinical trials failed to report race and ethnicity data

October 19, 2015
Researchers from Duke University and Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center have found that nearly 77 percent of pulmonary clinical trials registered with ClinicalTrials.gov failed to report race and ethnicity data, and biologic-related ...

Are cholesterol-lowering statins associated with reduced Alzheimer risk?

December 12, 2016
An analysis of Medicare data suggests that high use of cholesterol-lowering statins was associated with a reduced risk for Alzheimer disease but that reduction in risk varied by type of statin and race/ethnicity, findings ...

How genomic sequencing may be widening racial disparities in cancer care

August 18, 2016
As scientists learn more about which genetic mutations are driving different types of cancer, they're targeting treatments to small numbers of patients with the potential for big payoffs in improved outcomes.

Novel racial/ethnic differences found in diabetic kidney disease

January 14, 2013
(HealthDay)—Rates of proteinuric and nonproteinuric diabetic kidney disease (DKD) vary significantly across racial/ethnic groups, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in Diabetes Care.

Recommended for you

Researchers devise decoy molecule to block pain where it starts

January 16, 2018
For anyone who has accidentally injured themselves, Dr. Zachary Campbell not only sympathizes, he's developing new ways to blunt pain.

Scientists unleash power of genetic data to identify disease risk

January 16, 2018
Massive banks of genetic information are being harnessed to shed new light on modifiable health risks that underlie common diseases.

Blood-vessel-on-a-chip provides insight into new anti-inflammatory drug candidate

January 15, 2018
One of the most important and fraught processes in the human body is inflammation. Inflammatory responses to injury or disease are crucial for recruiting the immune system to help the body heal, but inflammation can also ...

Molecule produced by fat cells reduces obesity and diabetes in mice

January 15, 2018
UC San Francisco researchers have discovered a new biological pathway in fat cells that could explain why some people with obesity are at high risk for metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The new findings—demonstrated ...

Obese fat becomes inflamed and scarred, which may make weight loss harder

January 12, 2018
The fat of obese people becomes distressed, scarred and inflamed, which can make weight loss more difficult, research at the University of Exeter has found.

Optimized human peptide found to be an effective antibacterial agent

January 11, 2018
A team of researchers in the Netherlands has developed an effective antibacterial ointment based on an optimized human peptide. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes developing ...

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.