Clyde Yancy, M.D., MSc, cardiology chief and vice dean for diversity and inclusion at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, was a keynote speaker at the 2019 American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) annual meeting. He said the traditional biases of seeing a patient and automatically making clinical assumptions because they are a certain race or gender are obsolete. For example, he said not all black patients have hypertension. Yancy added that genetics, especially with racial intermarriage over the past several generations, no longer predisposes patients to what is typically assumed for certain ethnic or racial backgrounds.
Yancy also said new research is showing how diet plays a major role in patient health and disease progression for things previously thought to be based on genetics. This includes the people who live in "food deserts" in urban areas where there are no sources of fresh food and vegetables, so they consume large amounts of packaged and processed foods that contain high levels of salt, phosphates and preservatives. He said these chemicals and diet may be the root cause of hypertension and diabetes in black populations in low income areas, rather than genetics as previously thought.
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