Participant-level racial/ethnic minority data are reported inconsistently and heterogeneously in contemporary guideline-informing atrial fibrillation (AFib) clinical trials, according to a study published June 15 in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.
Ashish Sarraju, MD, MPH, et al., sought to assess current gaps in racial/ethnic minority participation in AFib studies due to the increasingly diverse population in the U.S. “[Ensuring] minority participation in clinical trials is important for the generalizability of [AFib] therapies and practice guidelines across the country.”
The authors examined data from 34 clinical trials cited in the 2019 American Heart Association (AHA)/American College of Cardiology (ACC)/Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) Focused Update of the 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS Guideline for AFib.
Of the 34 trials studied, 15 (44%) reported participant-level racial/ethnic data and eight trials reported geographic areas without participant-level data. Overall, 14 trials reported non-Hispanic white participation; eight trials reported African American participants; six trials reported Hispanic participation; and seven trials reported Asian participation rates.
The authors of the study also “found heterogeneity in reporting across major [AFib] trials, with inconsistently reported rates of [African American], Hispanic, and/or Asian participation. Hispanic and Asian groups were not disaggregated likely due to low representation, which is notable given documented health differences within disaggregated subgroups.”
The study showed that in proportion to the U.S. population, African American and Hispanic populations are underrepresented in AFib clinical trials. “Future efforts should focus on standardized reporting and improved participation of racial/ethnic minorities in clinical trials,” write the authors of the study.
Ashish Sarraju, MD—As an undergraduate, Sarraju studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Boston University. He later enrolled at Northwestern University for medical school. Ashish has thrived as a Stanford resident, earning the highest possible marks on every rotation. At Stanford, Ashish worked with David Maron and Josh Knowles studying dyslipidemia, and he is planning a career in preventative cardiology.
Call to Action: TrialSite News has covered on multiple occasions the disparities in ethnic and minority representation in clinical trials. It’s undoubtedly an issue that needs to be addressed and acknowledged, and published clinical data like this is definitely a good start. We encourage those in the TrialSite Network to see the link to learn more.