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Invited Commentary
August 18, 2021

Now Is the Time for a Critical Conversation About the Reporting of Race and Ethnicity

Author Affiliations
  • 1Louisiana Children’s Medical Center Cancer Center, School of Medicine, LSU New Orleans, New Orleans
JAMA Surg. 2021;156(11):1042. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.3753

Maduka et al highlight the need for consistent reporting of race and ethnicity in surgery literature in their study “The Reporting of Race and Ethnicity in Surgery Literature.”1 The authors reviewed 2485 articles involving human-based studies published in 7 surgery journals in 2019. They found equally low rates of reporting race and ethnicity in journals that stated they follow the ICMJE recommendations and those that did not. The myriad causes for this finding include disproportionate representation in trials and the inability to gather the data from retrospective studies. The authors also identified the “failure to see relevance when compared to ‘biologically’ based subject demographics such as age or sex” as a contributor to the lack of reporting on race and ethnicity in these articles.1 This statement supports the need to consider the intersectionality between structural racism and health inequities.

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