Arash Mostaghimi of Brigham & Women's
Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and coauthors analyzed 626
articles reporting randomized clinical trials for acne, psoriasis,
atopic dermatitis and eczema, vitiligo, alopecia areata, seborrheic
dermatitis and lichen planus because the conditions are common and lack
specific racial predilection.
‘Journals and funding sources can reinforce our diverse clinical trial population by continuing to prioritize racial, ethnic, and genetic diversity within the articles they fund and publish.’
Of the 626 articles, 97 studies were exclusively conducted in the
United States and 164 were partially conducted in the United States; 58
of the 97 studies conducted exclusively within the United States
reported on the racial and ethnic demographics of study participants.
Among those 58 studies conducted exclusively within the United
States that recorded race/ethnicity, 74.4% of the 13,681
participants were white. Among these studies, 46 noted racial categories
other than white and nonwhite for a total of 11,140 participants, of
whom 72% where white, 13% were African American, 14.7% were recorded as Hispanic and 3.3% were recorded as
"While those trials that fully characterized race achieved
recruitment of a proportional number of African American participants
(compared with the U.S. population at 13%), those same trials did
not achieve such proportionality with respect to ethnicity. Although 17% of the population identifies as Hispanic by ethnicity, only
14.7% of participants in those same studies identified ethnically
as Hispanic. Moreover, the dearth of full reporting of ethnicity and
race suggests that the actual racial and ethnic makeup of many studies
may be decidedly more homogenous," according to the article.
Articles about eczema and acne were more likely to include more than
20% racially/ethnically diverse participants than psoriasis
studies, the authors report.
The review concludes, "Journals and funding sources can reinforce
our diverse clinical trial population by continuing to prioritize
racial, ethnic, and genetic diversity within the articles they fund and
publish; requiring reporting of racial and ethnic data in all
dermatology RCTs will lead us even further. These combined efforts will
enable dermatology to be an example within medicine for how to best
achieve diversity within research and, by extension, clinical practice."