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The meta-analysis shows a snapshot of more diverse representation and better reporting of race and ethnicity factors.

An NJ-Based Study Reveals Improving Diversity in Trials

The proportion of Hispanic, Asian, and other racial groups remain low and/or are underrepresented

Published:Feb 02, 2024
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Clinical trials and medical research have been historically lacking in diversity among all groups. But recent trends have been turning the tide, at least a little, toward equity and inclusivity, according to a new meta-analysis published by a team of investigators from the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine (HMSOM) and the Hackensack Meridian Health Research Institute (HMHRI).

The meta-analysis of clinical trials which included New Jersey patients from 2017 to 2022 shows a snapshot of more diverse representation and better reporting of race and ethnicity factors, according to the new paper in Elsevier’s Global Epidemiology.

“The past five years have seen an overall uptick in the equity of race/ethnicity reporting and inclusivity of clinical trials, as compared to previously reported data, presaging the potential acquisition of ever more powerful and meaningful results of such intervention studies going forward,” write the authors.

The team used the Clinicaltrials.gov registry to identify nearly 500 clinical trials that took place at least in part in New Jersey. Of this group of trials, more than 97 percent reported on the race and/or ethnicity of the enrollees, according to the findings. 

The participation in the trials assessed collectively still showed a majority 76.7 percent as White participants. Black participants made up about 14.1 percent of the enrollees, which is slightly higher than the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau’s estimate, which was used as a reference standard.

The proportion of Asian and Hispanic descent, however, was slightly lower than the corresponding census figures. Thus, more inclusivity work needs to be done, according to the authors. “Our five-year snapshot reveals that a very large percentage of trials report on race/ethnicity—and inclusivity is improving,” the authors conclude. “While there is still some way to go to have the demographic numbers in these trials match U.S. Census values, our results suggest that recent efforts are having an effect.”

- This press release was originally published on the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine website