A very interesting article appeared recently in The New York Times called “Blacks are Twice as Likely as Whites to Experience Sudden Cardiac Death.” The study is seen as extremely well-researched and appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The researchers controlled for a wide-variety of factors, including education, physical activity, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, income, and more. But even after accounting for the differences, they found that the risk for sudden cardiac death was still 97 percent higher in blacks than in whites.
Although the multiracial population was not specifically studied, we at Project RACE completely agree that more medical research needs to be done. This subject has been in disagreement in the community with some people’s knee-jerk, head-in-the-sand reaction that medicine should not look at racial differences. The fact is that there are differences that show up in bone marrow, Tay-Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia, etc. However, those facts are of no concern to them. We are not saying, and it should not be misinterpreted as our saying, that there are physical variations that cause medical problems. We are saying that it needs to be studied further, which is what the study leaders are pointing out. –Susan Graham for Project RACE