Author Interview: Dr. Mitchell S. V. Elkind on “Approaches to Studying Determinants of Racial-Ethnic Disparities in Stroke and Its Sequelae”
Dr. Mitchell S. V. Elkind, MD, MS, FAAN, FAHA, is a Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He is the Head of the Division of Neurology Clinical Outcomes Research and Population Sciences (NeuroCORPS). Presently, he serves as the president of the American Heart Association.
He is interviewed by Dr. Melanie R. F. Greenway, MD, vascular neurology fellow at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.
They will be discussing the paper “Approaches to Studying Determinants of Racial-Ethnic Disparities in Stroke and Its Sequelae,” published in the November 2020 issue of Stroke. The article is part of a Focused Updates series of articles on topics related to health equity.
Dr. Greenway: To start, I would like to thank you for writing this comprehensive review on studying race-ethnic disparities in stroke as part of this unique series of articles in Stroke on health equity. This review provides an important framework for anyone embarking on their own epidemiologic research, as well as those of us reading and interpreting the race-ethnic disparities literature that is rapidly evolving. To start, you describe health disparities between groups as “a difference with a difference.” Can you explain what you mean by this?
Dr. Elkind: Disparities refer to differences in health that result from a very specific set of reasons, such as social, economic, or environmental disadvantage. There are many reasons why people may have different health outcomes, but when we talk about disparities, we are referring to differences that are often due to being part of a particular race or ethnic group, or to being part of another group that has historically experienced disadvantage.