The Cleveland Clinic issues a 232-page Diversity Tool Kit as a modern, global guide (from "A" for "Aboriginal People" to "Z" for "Zoroastrian") for its healthcare providers, advising them on how to interact with patients and their family members.
The recognition that healthcare professionals need to offer appropriately individualized interaction with patients is essential to providing the best care possible.
Unfortunately, pooled cohort equations (PCEs) that are used by doctors to form risk estimations for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) are not so forward-thinking or inclusive.
The current guidelines that help your doc to decide if you need a statin or blood pressure meds or to take daily aspirin use data on people from the 1940s, and are woefully non-inclusive of people of color.
A new study led by Stanford University researchers says that by updating the data used to form the 2013 PCEs, approximately 11.8 million U.S. adults previously labeled "high risk" (their 10-year risk of a heart attack, stroke or death from CVD is greater than 7.5 percent) would be identified as a lower risk.
That will save patients worry, money, and unnecessary exposure to risks associated with aspirin and meds to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
However, "while many Americans were being recommended aggressive treatments that they may not have needed ... some Americans — particularly African-Americans — may have been given false reassurance and probably need to start treatment, given our findings," says Stanford's Dr. Sanjay Basu.
So at your next checkup, ask your doc to re-examine your CVD risk factors and determine if you do in fact need medication to prevent a heart attack or stroke.
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