September 27th, 2021

Podcast 279: Age-specific data do better than age-adjusted data in revealing health inequities

Kiarri Kershaw has written a simple letter in JACC — the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The letter conveys a strong message: health inequities don’t act uniformly across one’s lifetime. Her examination of Black versus white mortality from all causes and from cardiovascular causes with the use of age-specific data shows places in the life of a population where health interventions could lower mortality risks. Using age-adjusted data to examine an entire population is too coarse an approach.

She and her colleagues found that older Black people (age 85+) show a survival advantage over whites, despite the fact that whites hold the advantage at every other age interval. There are several possible reasons for this, and Dr. Kershaw and my co-host Dr. Karol Watson offer a few.

This is probably the shortest Clinical Conversation ever, coming in at under 7 minutes. And it’s well worth your listening time.

Dr. Kershaw’s letter in JACC.

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