Historically, African Americans have been vastly underrepresented in clinical trails and other medical research. The conventional wisdom is that African Americans have major trust issues with the American medical establishment due to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and the huge racial gap in medical professionals.
But a new study led by Linda Cottler, chair of the department of epidemiology at the College of Medicine at the University of Florida, finds that a major reason for the low participation of Blacks in medical studies is that they are not recruited or asked to join such studies. After interviewing nearly 6,000 subjects in five cities across the United States, Cottler and her research team found that 91 percent of African Americans said they would be interested in participating in medical research. This was higher than the 85 percent rate for Whites and significantly higher than the rate for Hispanic or Asian Americans.
The researchers also found a higher willingness for participation among Blacks even if blood or genetics testing was involved or if the clinical trials involved staying overnight in the hospital.
The research, published in the American Journal of Public Health, may be accessed here.