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The Pediatric Forum
August 2001

Race Not Always Useful in Final Analysis

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Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(8):973-974. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.8.972

I applaud the editorial, "Use of the Terms Race and Ethnicity," in the February 2001 issue of the ARCHIVES.1 All too often race emerges as a variable in clinical trials in an attempt to substantiate statistical significance. The potential pitfalls inherent to this approach are immeasurable. Racial bias and stereotype have no relevance in scientifically sound studies. Investigators, perchance unaware, continue to hazard race factoring into the final "equation" without merit. Numerous medical advances have been discovered on the basis of race and still further investigations along these lines need to be undertaken. Therefore, I join Dr Rivara in his bid to encourage authors to list race or ethnicity as variables only when seeking genuine medical advances. As an African American pediatrician, I have long since grown weary of bias and stereotype, racial or otherwise.

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