Black Adults Are Still Underrepresented in Federally Funded Cardiovascular Trials
NIH-funded cardiovascular trials still have a lot of work to do when it comes to increasing their enrollment of Black adults, a group that is disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease but isn’t properly represented in clinical research, a new study has found.
Researchers at Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, New York University and the University of Vermont conducted a systematic review of NIH-funded cardiovascular trials registered on ClinicalTrials.gov between 2000 and 2019, looking at their enrollment of Black adults and the recruitment strategies they employed. They found that Black patients were not proportionately enrolled in these trials despite the fact that they are at a greater risk of heart disease.
Of the 100 trials they assessed, nearly half (46 percent) of them had enrolled populations that were less than 25 percent Black, according to the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Additionally, almost a quarter of trials failed to specify what percentage of their trial population identified as Black.
And after analyzing the 62 trials with protocols that had been published, the researchers found that they seriously lacked diversity targets. Just 13 trials (21 percent) clearly mentioned recruitment goals for historically underrepresented populations and only a single trial reported that it had met its goal for recruiting Black participants.
On recruitment strategies, 56 trials (90 percent) said they had active recruitment strategies in place, including electronic medical record-based recruitment (47 percent), community-based recruitment (13 percent) and provider-based recruitment (58 percent). Just three of the 62 trial protocols explicitly mentioned bringing in community members to help design the trial, while only two trials had community members outside of academic medical institutions as co-authors.
“While there is a considerable need for research on effective strategies to improve enrollment of Black adults, the first step is for Black inclusion to be a priority at the trial design phase through defined recruitment targets and intentional recruitment strategies,” the researchers advised. “Greater transparency, tracking of recruitment yields by demographic group, involvement of local stakeholders in trial design, and support of recruitment research may also represent long?term strategies to address this tremendous disparity in cardiovascular disease research.”
Read the full study here: https://bit.ly/2YC8Eg1.