Black lives matter … in the cath lab, too! A proposal for the interventional cardiology community to counteract bias and racism

Anezi I. Uzendu, Konstantinos Dean Boudoulas, Quinn Capers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Structural racism in the United States underlies racial disparities in the criminal justice system, in the healthcare system generally, and with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the year 2020, these inequities combined and magnified to such a degree that it left Black Americans and physicians caring for them questioning how much Black lives matter. Academic medical centers and the major cardiology organizations responded to a global call to end racism with bold statements and initiatives. Interventional cardiologists utilize advanced equipment to mechanically treat a wide spectrum of heart problems, yet this technology has not been applied in an equitable manner. Interventional therapies are often underutilized in Blacks, exacerbating healthcare disparities and contributing to the excess cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in these communities. Racial bias, whether intentional, unconscious, systemic, or at the individual level, plays a role in these disparities. Many in the interventional cardiology community aspire to take intentional steps to reduce the impact of bias and racism in our specialty. We discuss several proposals here and provide a “report card” for interventional programs to perform a self-assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCatheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • disparities
  • equity
  • injustice
  • prejudice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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