Ethnic minorities ‘underrepresented’ in studies on long-term illness

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024

LONDON: People from ethnic minority backgrounds are being left out of important studies examining multiple long term illnesses, experts have warned.

Researchers said that people with ethnic minority backgrounds are “underrepresented” in these studies, despite being more likely to be affected by multiple long-term illnesses.A new study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, saw experts conduct systematic review of research on multiple long-term conditions which took place in North America or Europe between 1990 and July 2023.

The team examined 13 studies in total, involving more than 4,000 people, but only four of these studies (31 per cent) included detail on ethnicity.Of these four studies, three “consisted of primarily white participants,” the researchers said.

Meanwhile there was a lack of reporting of ethnicity in the other studies, they added. They also pointed out that in eight of the 13 studies, there were “selection biases” where the inclusion criteria explicitly stated that participants must be able to speak English, or the country’s national language, or have access to a translator.