Diversity in Clinical and Biomedical Research: A Promise Yet to Be Fulfilled

PLoS Medicine, 15 December 2015

Summary Points

  • Health disparities persist across race/ethnicity for the majority of Healthy People 2010 health indicators.
  • Most physicians and scientists are informed by research extrapolated from a largely homogenous population, usually white and male.
  • A growing proportion of Americans are not fully benefiting from clinical and biomedical advances since racial and ethnic minorities make up nearly 40% of the United States population.
  • Ignoring the racial/ethnic diversity of the US population is a missed scientific opportunity to fully understand the factors that lead to disease or health.
  • US biomedical research and study populations must better reflect the country’s changing demographics. Adequate representation of diverse populations in scientific research is imperative as a matter of social justice, economics, and science.

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