Studies Examine Increasing Black Physician Population, Incidence of Hepatitis C-Related Condition Among Blacks, Whites
The following summarizes news coverage of studies on black physician recruitment and hepatitis C in blacks and whites.
- Black physicians: An increase in the number of black physicians nationwide would improve health outcomes in black communities and among the poor, according to a study published in the journal Health Services Research, the Kansas City infoZine reports. Lead researcher Daniel Howard from the Institute for Health, Social, and Community Research at Shaw University and colleagues found that while many blacks are visiting black physicians, some of those providers are retiring and often are being replaced by foreign-born physicians, who might not be as familiar with black culture. Previous research has found a connection between improved outcomes and access to care and the availability of black physicians, who often better understand cultural and social contexts of illnesses and treatment preferences in the black community, infoZine reports. Researchers recommend that the health care workforce policy be inclusive of blacks and incorporate cultural competency training (Kansas City infoZine, 1/5). An abstract of the study is available online.
- Hepatitis C: Blacks with hepatitis C are about 50% less likely than whites to have hepatic steatosis, or fat in the liver, a condition that indicates a more-advanced stage of the disease, according to a study published in the January issue of Hepatology, HealthDay News/Forbes reports. The study, lead by Hari Conjeevaram of the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Michigan, examined the racial differences in steatosis in people with hepatitis C, genotype I and found that of 194 black participants and 205 white participants with hepatitis C, 61% of blacks had hepatic steatosis, compared with 65% of whites. The findings were then adjusted to consider other risk factors such as body-mass index and insulin resistance (HealthDay News/Forbes, 1/7). An abstract of the study is available online.