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African-Americans Are More Willing to Join in Research

They're more likely to participate than other groups, even if they need blood, genetic samples

MONDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Results from the Sentinel Network, which focuses on the health priorities and concerns of under-represented groups, indicate that African-Americans are more willing to participate in research than other racial/ethnic groups, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues used data from the National Institutes of Health Sentinel Network to assess research perceptions, heath concerns, and conditions among 5,979 individuals from under-represented groups, including women, the elderly, racial/ethnic groups, and rural populations.

The researchers found that the top five health concerns were hypertension, diabetes, cancer, weight, and health problems, with hypertension the most frequent self-reported condition. Among racial/ethnic groups, the level of interest in research participation varied from 70.1 percent for "other" racial/ethnic categories to 91.0 percent for African-Americans. Compared with members of other racial/ethnic groups, African-Americans were more likely to be interested in studies which required blood samples, genetic samples, or medical records (82.6, 76.9, and 77.2 percent, respectively), and to be involved in studies that required staying overnight at hospital (70.5 percent) or involved use of medical equipment (75.4 percent).

"Top health concerns were consistent across geographic areas," the authors write. "African-Americans reported more willingness to participate in research even if it required blood samples or genetic testing."

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