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Naming the Problem: Publishing Trends within in Urology on Race, Health Disparities and Structural Racism

Published:October 05, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2021.07.048

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To assess publishing trends regarding the contribution of societal systems on health disparities within the urology literature.

      Methods

      We performed a bibliometric analysis of the top 15 urology journals for titles and abstracts with the term race or ethnicity between 2000-2021. Articles were graded by the presence of (1) race, (2) disparities secondary to race, or (3) racial disparities secondary to structural biases. Frequencies were tabulated and logistic regression was used to determine odds of disparities publishing.

      Results

      Our query returned 934 articles for review. In 484 (52%) articles, race was mentioned as a demographic/covariate. 110 (12%) abstracts noted a racial health disparity and only 2 articles implicated racism. Rates of more direct language varied significantly by journal and year of publication. Discussion of disparities increased over time, ranging from 0% in 2002 to 25% in 2020 (P-trend <.001). Logistic regression demonstrated an 11% annual increase in the likelihood of disparity publishing (OR=1.11, 95%CI=1.08-1.14; P<.001).

      Conclusions

      While it is widely acknowledged that race is a determinant of health, often “race” itself is ascribed the risk when societal inequities are largely at fault. Despite the frequent use of race as a key covariate within the urologic literature, health-disparities relating to structural racism are rarely explicitly named. In order to address the systemic biases that underpin these inequities, increased awareness through clear language in publishing is needed.
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