Author Affiliation: Dr Mark is Contributing Editor, JAMA.
Because of concerns about differential access to and quality of health
care in the United States, studies evaluating such factors as race and sex
in relation to health care use and outcomes have achieved some prominence
in the medical literature.1- 5
Although the effects of race and the many correlates of race such as insurance
coverage and socioeconomic position are sometimes difficult to disentangle,
many findings indicate that black patients are disadvantaged compared with
others in receiving good health care. However, much of the existing research
is unable to determine whether the differences in either utilization or outcomes
observed between races is due to differences in severity of illness, differences
in severity of comorbidities, cultural differences in attitudes toward health
care, or racial bias.
Mark DH. Race and the Limits of Administrative Data. JAMA. 2001;285(3):337-338. doi:10.1001/jama.285.3.337