Serious as a Heart Attack: American Heart Association Sabotages Its Own Predictive Algorithm
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Science used to be about making more accurate predictions, but now it’s about affirming dogmas even at the cost of more dead bodies. As we all know, Race Does NOT Exist Biologically. It just doesn’t. So therefore, doctors will no longer be allowed to use race in an algorithm predicting risk of heart attack or stroke, even though including race makes more accurate predictions.

Thus, from the New York Times news section:

Race Cannot Be Used to Predict Heart Disease, Scientists Say

The American Heart Association will release a new clinical tool that removes race as a factor in predicting who will have heart attacks or strokes.

By Roni Caryn Rabin
Nov. 14, 2023

Doctors have long relied on a few key patient characteristics to assess risk of a heart attack or stroke, using a calculus that considers blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking and diabetes status, as well as demographics: age, sex and race.

Now, the American Heart Association is taking race out of the equation.

The overhaul of the widely used cardiac-risk algorithm is an acknowledgment that, unlike sex or age, race identification in and of itself is not a biological risk factor.

The scientists who modified the algorithm decided from the start that race itself did not belong in clinical tools used to guide medical decision making, even though race might serve as a proxy for certain social circumstances, genetic predispositions or environmental exposures that raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The revision comes amid rising concern about health equity and racial bias within the U.S. health care system, and is part of a broader trend toward removing race from a variety of clinical algorithms.

… “Race is a social construct,” Dr. Khan said, adding that including race in clinical equations “can cause significant harm by implying that it is a biological predictor.”

That doesn’t mean that Black Americans are not at higher risk of dying of cardiovascular disease than white Americans, she said.

There are also 85 million residents of the USA who are neither black nor white, but who can remember them?

They are, and life expectancy of Black Americans is shorter as well, she added.

But race has been used in algorithms as a stand-in for a range of factors that are working against Black Americans, Dr. Khan said. It’s not clear to scientists what all of those risks are.

If they were better understood, “we could address them and work to modify them,” she said.

But they aren’t so, we're just going to ignore the greater risk faced by blacks.

… The new equation also has options for including a measure of blood sugar control, called hemoglobin A1C, in people with Type 2 diabetes, and for incorporating a factor called the Social Deprivation Index, which includes poverty, unemployment, education and other factors.

Social Deprivation is why Mexican Americans have such short life spans. Except that they don’t, they have longer life expectancies than white Americans.

The changes are “great news,” said Dr. David S. Jones, a psychiatrist and professor of the history of medicine at Harvard, who wrote a paper about the use of race in myriad medical decision-making algorithms that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2020.

The paper described how race has been used in a broad array of clinical algorithms relied upon to make medical judgments about conditions as diverse as urinary tract infections, vaginal birth after cesarean sections, breast cancer, lung function and kidney function.

“It’s been hugely gratifying to see how medical thinking has shifted about this issue over the past three to five years,” Dr. Jones said.

Medical thinking, like most American thinking, has been getting dumber during the Racial Reckoning.

While there are racial gaps on many health measures, scientists must conduct research to understand exactly what is causing the differences, he said, adding, “You can’t just divide the world into Black and white people, and say that all the white people get this and all the Black people get that.”

The idea that “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that is the way to bet” became a commonplace of American journalism about 180 years ago. The current version was probably first stated by the famous columnist Franklin P. Adams in 1919, but the three legendary newspapermen most associated with the saying — FPA, Grantland Rice, and Damon Runyon — all attributed it to Hugh E. Keough, but he likely got it from a couple of generations of journalists before him.

But nobody in journalism seems to remember the concept anymore.

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