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Information Gap in Atopic Dermatitis Treatments for Patients of Color

When seeking evidence for efficacy of systemic therapy for atopic dermatitis (AD), many American medical providers look to randomized clinical trials conducted mainly in Europe. However, due to the varying ethnic and racial differences between populations in the U.S. and Europe, pressure lies on the U.S. studies to provide which AD treatments work best for Americans of color and various socio-demographic groups.  

In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dermatology (JAMA), researchers examined U.S. studies focusing on the efficacy of systemic treatments for atopic dermatitis. Of the 9 studies they identified, only two reported data on treatment responses in different races or ethnicities. The authors noted that the medical field is at risk of generalizing the results of literature, taking them as representative of the entire population. Many studies in the U.S. cannot stand as guiding literature for guiding the treatment plan for AD in racial and ethnic minorities.

Researchers noted that there is a wide practice gap here, as many black individuals have a distinct clinical presentation of AD and may show differences in treatment response. It is possible that so little is known about these populations because of limited access to healthcare, or the fact that clinical studies are conducted in areas with low numbers of patients of color. Researchers stressed that, in light of this, it would benefit future researchers to recruit nonwhite and Hispanic populations to their studies. By carefully evaluating the participants’ effects and adverse effects, while also accurately reporting their racial information (ie. noting Hispanic Latino (H/L), H/L Asians, H/L blacks etc.), there is bound to be new discoveries to better treat all individuals in our patient population.

Sources: 1, 2

Image: DryHundredFear

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