Race affects advice of doctors

Jan. 17, 2011 at 7:48 PM
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BALTIMORE, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say physicians give more weight-control counsel to white obese patients than to black obese patients.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore say they found black obese patients receive less weight-related advice than white obese patients -- regardless of the physician's race.

"Contrary to our expectations, we did not observe a positive association between patient-physician race concordance and weight-related counseling," lead author Sara Bleich says in a statement.

Dr. Lisa Cooper, another study author, says further research is needed to understand how to improve obese patient counseling, particularly among the black population.

Cooper, Bleich and colleagues analyzed data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys for 2005 to 2007 -- a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of physician office visits. The data included 2,231 visits of black and white obese patients age 20 or older visiting black and white family practice and internal medicine physicians.

Their findings are published online in Obesity.

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