Utibe R. Essien, assistant professor in the School of Medicine’s Division of General Medicine, was the lead author for study published in JAMA Cardiology that found striking differences in the use of blood thinners for stroke prevention by race, especially in the newer class of these medications. Black patients were far less likely to receive blood thinners, even after controlling for socioeconomic status.
The study used the Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation II (ORBIT-AF II) to source patient data for the study. He conducted the research during a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Many factors, including limited access to specialists, out-of-pocket costs, medication adherence and implicit bias, have been suggested as possible reasons for the disparities in care for patients with atrial fibrillation, but further research is needed to address and correct these issues, according to a UPMC news release.
Utibe, who came to Pitt in September and also is a core investigator for the VA Pittsburgh Center for Health Equity and Research Promotion, co-authored the study along with physicians and academics from Harvard, Duke, Yale and UCLA.