September 13th, 2010
04:45 PM ET

Study: Whites with muscular dystrophy live up to 12 years longer than blacks

Whites with muscular dystrophy live up to 12 years longer than their African American counterparts, according to a study published Monday in Neurology.

Although medical advancements over a period of 20 years increased the life span of patients with the debilitating muscle disease, those improvements haven’t been equal among different groups.White women with muscular dystrophy had a median death age of 63, versus 51 for African American women.  For men, their median age at death was 33, versus 23 for African American males.

Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited muscle diseases in which the muscle fibers are unusually susceptible to damage and progressively weaken. The condition can lead to early death due to respiratory or heart failure.

Men tend to die younger, because the vast majority of patients who die have Duchenne muscular dystrophy - a particular type of the disorder that rarely affects female.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and University of Pennsylvania set out to identify trends in muscular dystrophy between 1985 to 2005 and analyzed 18,315 death certificates associated with the disease in the United States.

Over this study period, both groups saw improvements in lifespan because of better lung care and other therapies, said one of the study authors, Dr. Richard Finkel.

"For white males overall, there was a 22-year increase in the age at death for whites (from about 22 to 44 years) while for blacks the increase was only about 6.6 years," said Finkel, clinical professor of Neurology at University of Pennsylvania school of medicine and director of the Neuromuscular Program at the Children's Hospital Philadelphia. "So both groups improved but not to the same extent."

This racial disparity could be due to sociocultural barriers, genetic factors or other factors, but it’s impossible to pinpoint the reasons based on death certificates, Finkel said.

“There’s no way we can get beneath the surface and find out whether there are socio-economic factors that play a role,” Finkel said.  “Are there genetic factors in blacks versus whites that may play a role?  Are there other factors in blacks that compound the problem?  This study tried to take that into account- but that’s not the entire answer.”

Another finding was that cardiomyopathy, which is weakening of the heart muscle or a change in heart muscle structure, was more often reported in black men (20.9 percent) than white men (11.8 percent).

The authors cautioned in the study that “this dataset did not include information about quality of life, so increases in age at death do not necessarily equate with improvements in quality of life.”

soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Steve

    Thank the "race does not exist" crowd, and the politically punitive environment they've engendered, for the reluctance of drug companies to research race-specific medications.

    September 13, 2010 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • objective observer


      Your comments are brilliant, insightful and compelling. Too bad most here are impervious to their merit. Please return and continue to inject your wisdom.

      September 13, 2010 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
    • objective observer

      In case you did not pick up on it Steve, I was being SARCASTIC.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
  2. lsKIWI

    Drug companies by nature are conservative when performing clinical trials, and by default have chosen white men historically for their studies in this country. This is in part because Caucasians were the prevalent ethnic group here, partly because female responses may be complicated by hormonal issues, and partly by the concern of treating females that have the possibility of getting pregnant. This latter reason contributed to the horrific birth defects associated with thalidomide – a morning sickness reliever that was not tested in females before being released onto the market.

    As our scientific knowledge and ability to rapidly and cheapily sequence human genomes, we are only now starting to appreciate the genetics underlying some very complicated medical issues. There is considerable effort and money being poured into identifying the subtle genetic differences between populations under the guise of the International HapMap Consortium. These ethnic groups including the Han Chinese, US-based Caucasians, Japanese, and the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Anyone interested might want to go to http://hapmap.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/healthbenefit.html

    September 13, 2010 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. God

    Being enslaved by Europeans is the best thing to have ever happened to blacks. Otherwise, they'd still be in Africa...well...doing the same as always....nothing noteworthy other than trying to grow wheat in the sand and practicing voodoo as a religion.

    September 13, 2010 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JomodasMusicMan


      September 13, 2010 at 21:44 | Report abuse |
    • Raimondo

      Try finding a single Western black who honestly regrets that his ancestors were taken from the "Motherland."

      Africa's a beautiful continent, blessed with immense rivers, broad croplands and huge mineral resources. But it took the white man to make use of all that bounty. Word.

      Recolonization - an idea whose time has come.

      September 13, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse |
    • God

      Red neck is devisive and racist, but since whites are mostly tolerant and sympathetic, I'm sure they'll let you slide this time. However I know your heart to be hateful of all things "white" since it causes you to confront your owns fears and feelings of inadequacy. Next time you pray to me, don't ask for anything...just express gratitude that I didn't make you a white who had to tolerate your dumba$$.

      September 13, 2010 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
  4. Rita

    If this is true, then why don't we see more blacks w/MD during Jerry Lewis' annual MDA telecons. Every picture that showed Jerry with someone with MD is always a white face. Can you comment on this Jerry??

    September 13, 2010 at 21:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • iho

      Exactly. Why don't we hear about skin diseases that are caused by long exposure to sun?? White folks are known to stay out in the sun for long periods and frequent sun-tanning salons. Whites definitely lead in skin diseases.

      September 13, 2010 at 21:31 | Report abuse |
  5. JomodasMusicMan

    These stats does not surprise me. A couple of years ago, it came out that the Veterans Administration were not given the Black Vets the same care that white vets were getting with blocked arties. The white vets were given the procedure without surgery to unblock the arties while the black vets were given surgery, which in most cases caused their death or simply allowed to go home to die. Their reasoning at Bay pines medical center in St Petersburg was the black vets probably would not eat the right foods or follow the instructions correctly after the simple procedure.

    September 13, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. kazz

    does glenn beck know this?

    September 13, 2010 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JomodasMusicMan

      Glen Beck was probably given the doctors at the Vet Admin instructions on how to shorten the lives of the Black vets and how this would save the govern millions of $

      September 13, 2010 at 22:26 | Report abuse |
  7. Rob

    I'm so tired of people crying racist. The scientists pointed out a fact, and provided evidence to support it. They're not racist. The disease affects black people more, possibly because of genetic issues or possibly because of socioeconomic issues. That doesn't make black people inferior at all.
    Just curious, how many people would cry racist if I said that black people are normally faster than whites? It's a medically proven fact, but I'm sure that it's somehow a white supremacy thing to be slow.
    I admit that it would have been nice to bring in Asians and Latinos, but they might not show the same level of genetic difference.

    September 13, 2010 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. darwin

    Please people, get over it. We all have differences; too many to count, but we all live in the same country and we are all brothers. Remember John Lennon's IMAGINE, and try to live it.

    September 13, 2010 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JomodasMusicMan

      Don't call me brother, while u are diggin in my chest trying to steal my heart & give it to some white man

      September 13, 2010 at 22:28 | Report abuse |
    • God

      You're more of a step brother, since you really don't belong...insofar as the music and heart stuff, you wouldn't have a clue about real music if you hadn't been brought to the Americas

      September 13, 2010 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
  9. AudieHO

    I believe the intent of the article was to reinforce the belief that blacks are subjected to less health care than whites. However, there is a much larger divide between men and women. Does this mean that men receive a lesser quality of healthcare than woment, even if they are white?

    People need to realize, the real enemy in today's world is not racism, sexism or any other -ism or even any single politician over another. The real detriment to society is the so-called journalist. They go into the career field to 'make a difference' leaving their objectivity at the door. What they fail to realize is their subjectiveness is causing harm in society. Journalists are supposed to accurately record the details, not shape opinion, but in recent years, the journalism field has been overcome by zealots who attempt to force their opinion at any costs, rather than uphold the integrity of their profession.

    September 13, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. rh

    Uh, how many of you actually go to MDA clinics? I do, and two of my kids go too.

    There is a VAST difference in the number of white vs. non-white patients visiting the clinic, and also inpatient at the rehab hospital it is associated with. I saw an African-American patient for the first time at the rehab hospital a few weeks ago; he was in a wheelchair and his father was the only one with him.

    What is needed is outreach, and access to communities. I am multi-racial, but also I have a high level of education and grew up with a white mother. Education (reducing fear of doctors and shame from illness) is important, as is outreach. You have to find patients and see them if they won't see you.

    I hope that the effect of these results is to find patients and help them. Is there a socioeconomic issue? Can they determine if ability to pay was the main cause, or was there a delay in diagnosis? I don't know why these results have happened but they 100% make sense based on what I have seen at MDA clinics.

    September 13, 2010 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      I am sorry that so many in your family need to visit MDA clinics. We had a friend of the family who had lupus, who died of it. He was black. His doctor refused to make the diagnosis until it was too late, and he went to doctors to try to find answers because his wife was a nurse. His co-workers (he was a computer programmer) and his wife all told him it sounded like lupus and he needed treatment, but he couldn't get anywhere. My prayer is that racists do not become doctors and nurses, so that medical conditions in blacks are truly diagnosed, patients referred to the proper clinics, and blacks are treated. I think that there are some people here who hate CNN because it is telling the truth; this isn't a blame game, but an attempt to try to get help for ill people.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:16 | Report abuse |
  11. ladydeborah

    I am not seeing a statement of racial superiority in this article. I am seeing a study that raises a lot of questions about the differences in survival spans. There are different medical studies that use comparison data based on age, race and gender.

    There are also a lot of people who use this forum as an opportunity to spew their inner madness. That's nothing new and it is what it is. I guess you have to been of a higher mindset to realize that this type of research isn't racist. It is valuable information for people to utilize in treatment plans.

    September 13, 2010 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Billy

      Give me ONE example showing this information is useful.

      September 14, 2010 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
  12. Osberntoe

    I too find the article offensive because it opens the door to placing the blame on white people. Blacks may be predisposed to certain diseases...and blacks may not visit the doctor as often as whites....none of which can be blamed on whitey. There are major differences between the races. Blacks are much more athletic..and much better dancers and singers than whites, in general.

    September 13, 2010 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      I don't know about "better singers". Most singers are white. Yes, blacks excel athletically, but not academically. Someone once said that sports is what got blacks accepted into mainstream America.

      September 14, 2010 at 00:48 | Report abuse |
  13. J. Johnson

    Please read articles on the Federal Government's accessmnet on the outcomes of individuals with physical disabilities. Many states forefit millions of dollars allocated to the training and employment of people with disabilities. Two outcomes are key to this funding, codes 26 and codes 28.

    In New York City the purchase of a street corner vendors' product[s] may sustain a business bottom line of, $100,000.00+, per year. FDR became President.

    September 13, 2010 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Kevin

    Well, because it's a racial disparity, or at least that's what they are calling it, it necessarily results in more funding for them (to do studies) and monetary allocation. If both black and whites were more or less equal, it wouldn't get any attention, wouldn't be on CNN, and wouldn't get the attention of the various government agencies that hand out cash.

    September 13, 2010 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. JomodasMusicMan

    Sure, White people live longer. Because the Doctors are working tirelessly trying to save white people lives. Then on the other hand they are experimenting with Blacks seeing how long they can live with aids, syphillis & adnormal amounts of radiation. Blacks goes in hospital for a simple procedure then dies because of experimental treatment. Then his organs are stolen and given to someone of another race

    September 13, 2010 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • God

      I just find blacks to be pugnacious and hideous, plain and simple...most whites bend over backwards to undo what I have wrought by nature, that is, to make them overtly undesireable in all ways, and most everybody agrees except you damned Americans...perhaps a few more years will suffice for you to learn

      September 13, 2010 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      How much crack have you been smoking lately?

      September 14, 2010 at 00:46 | Report abuse |
  16. sherman

    So tired of it. Why is it always whites against blacks. I work in a hospital and if anything blacks get treated the same whether they have health insurance or not. This is why there are so many race issues-trying working together people.

    September 13, 2010 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      The media like to keep stirring the pot. They want to have racial tension so they can have stuff to report about.

      September 14, 2010 at 00:45 | Report abuse |
  17. Alec Dubro

    There sure are a lot of dumb, angry white people. The issue of race will stop being raised when it's over, not when you just wish it would stop.

    September 13, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Youngin

      this issue has increased ever since a half black man became president. I have never seen more hatred in all my life. go on youtube and look up 'new left media'. they have videos interviewing these bigoted tea party numbnuts. you will laugh but mostly you will be afraid at how stupid most of america is. these are all middle-america white people and they are scarier than any street thug I have ever seen. they interview them and simply ask questions. they do not bait in anyway. they allow those imbociles to show their true color. scary and sad.

      September 14, 2010 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
  18. Sentinal2012

    I see your point. I read it again and I feel females came out on top, regardless of race, by a long shot. Then there is the hard topic of quality of life. I am not aware of the statistics relevant to a person, with this condition and their ability to complete school work , become a tutor , contribute to society while they are with us ( i.e. Stephen Hawking )

    September 13, 2010 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Texas hospice nurse

    This isn't about being racist. It is about a factual difference a scientific study found.
    It may actually help black people with MD.
    I guess you people crying racism never thought about that part of it. Maybe just maybe they look further into this information to see why this happens and try to change it.
    As for the difference in races of people , guess what there is one sometimes. By realizing that , admitting that and looking into the why's of the differences , we change that and all be the better off for it.

    September 13, 2010 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rick

      I will accept that as long as you white women choose to accept what was written in another cnn article that most men prefer non-white women. They tend to have more beautiful bodies, age far better than white women , and have gorgeous faces, especially latina and mixed women. White women are becoming the new fugly. Accept that FACT okay? Then we can move on.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:19 | Report abuse |
    • Mitch

      White women have always been, and continue to be, the most desired.

      Models are overwhelmingly white because ads featuring them bring in the most business for advertisers. There's the proof of the pudding right there, no matter how many blacks Tyra stuffs onto her show.

      September 14, 2010 at 21:10 | Report abuse |
  20. Steve

    And men die 8 years earlier than women, on the average.

    Never mind, it's only men we are talking about here. Let's spend millions to find out why Black Women have 30% more corns than White Women....

    September 14, 2010 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Steve

    I get tired of being classified as the generic "white" race group while all these other races have fancy names like "African Americans". Everybody is an "American" except those white folks. They are just the generic "white people". If you are going to call one group "African Americans" then call whites "European Americans" and if you're going to call whites "whites" then calls blacks "blacks" and not some fancy politically correct term.

    September 14, 2010 at 00:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Bob

    But the sex divide between men and women is far greater (33 vs. 63), and the article seems to be obsessed with the racial difference.

    September 14, 2010 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. sneakin

    why is everything about race?

    September 14, 2010 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Doni

    Good info to know. This means that we can actually look for why there are differences. Could another possible explanation be that most drugs are tested on the dominant majority population and because of the very small genetic differences they have different level of effectiveness between the races.
    This is really not a racial issue... please don't try to make it into one.
    Being aware is the first place to start investigating. Better to know than NOT know.

    Doni (just another black kid on the block)

    September 14, 2010 at 01:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. JohnQuest

    I don't generally comment on racial blogs, but I think that a little prescriptive is needed here. The only difference between Blacks and Whites are the techniques and lies used to divide and conquer us. In the US (my home and would proudly give my life for her) the issue is not racial its class, the Haves against the Have-nots. While the Have-nots fighting amongst themselves the Haves and stealing the country (by stealing the wealth), I wonder if any of you know that less than 10% of our population have almost 80% of the wealth.

    We have been at war for almost 10 years, during that time over 500,000 of our sons and daughters have been in a combat theater, how many of them were from the top 10%, or from the families that made the decision to fight, a handful at best. While we are concerned about petty, trivial matters we are being systematically rap ed, robbed and left homeless. Some of us are being told that our brothers from the south are stealing our jobs (legal and illegal labor, is a drop in the bucket compared to the jobs that were lost due to factories moving jobs south and overseas). Some of us are told that our children can't succeed in school and need to be on drugs (consider what that are being taught in school).

    We an continue this self destructive game and give up our future or we could ask ourselves why we are being feed this trash and by whom. Two examples; Mr. Beck says that higher taxes will lead our downfall, why would he say that? Well as it turns out he is in the top 10% and would be adversely effected by the tax increase being considered in the WH. Mr. Jealous says that this person or that person is a racist, why would he say that? Well whenever people of color think that someone is out to get them the revenue of Mr. Jealous organization goes up. I am sure this is an over simplification of the issue but I hope I got the my major points across.

    You may think that you don't like that other person because of the way he or she looks but I promise you, you have a lot more to worry about from the people on Wall Street and in Congress.

    September 14, 2010 at 01:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. guest

    Racism? How do you know that the study wasn't conducted by a ****** to begin with? THe point of the article is saying that we need to find what makes white people live longer so blacks can live that long as well. anybody saying anything else is just bored arguing because either they are very bored or very stupid. I rest my case.

    September 14, 2010 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • unretired05

      Guess you're not bored.

      September 14, 2010 at 01:53 | Report abuse |
  27. thor

    Oh man I can't believe this. Disease is racist. But how? We musn't stand for this. We need to stop keeping statistics. Numbers are racist too. Mayonaise is racist. What else is racist? I'm watching you.

    September 14, 2010 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Nicole

    race is a social construct used to prove things that are not there. There are no genes to prove someone is a certain race/color/whatever and you will be hard pressed to ever find one. Insignificant differences can be skewed to appear significant. Take a statistics class. This whole thing is dumb.

    September 14, 2010 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • unretired05

      Where were you educated? They need to close that school.

      September 14, 2010 at 01:49 | Report abuse |
    • ME

      Unretired05, you are a complete moron. Nicole is correct. Genes ONLY determine a specific set of variables. Hair color, eye , color, skin color, and a few more. They do NOT determine illness, intelligence, or any other bullcrap CNN is always trying to sell the public.
      If this were try, why don't black people all across the world have MD? That is because its an AMERICAN THING.

      We eat crappy food. Our food, air , and water supply is poisoned. We are overdrugged. This is an AMERICAN thing. Stop with the racist bullcrap CNN. Intelligent people are not buying it.

      September 14, 2010 at 13:19 | Report abuse |
  29. Tyhouston

    Wrong all these stories blame and demonize whites, saying they get better care, not that they are on top or superior.

    It's a finger pointing blame game by us (blacks) to make belive they aren't helping us to get a free buck. And pity

    Like all the OTHER stories.

    September 14, 2010 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. guest

    LOL nicole there's a difference in genes believe me if there wasnt every human would be the same size/shape color you get the picture. But that's only part of the reason they live longer. They can't afford healthcare.

    September 14, 2010 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. salvice

    I would think that blacks do not use health care as often as whites as the main reason. There are a variety of factors in this, but two that should be most noted. First, socio-economic factors. Those who don't have the finances can not afford the latest and greatest in health care. Second, the abuse of black patients in medicine, specifically the Tuskegee incident in which African American men were intentionally infected with syphilis and not told. When such abuses are part of your health identity in your home country, chances are you will be reluctant to trust doctors. Many people still are.

    September 14, 2010 at 01:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Tori

    Oh good grief! As someone whose mother and aunt have battled this disease since as long as I can remember, I am really saddened and dumb founded so many are walking away from this article with stupid racial comments or making this into a racial issue. I have watched my mother through the years get worse and worse and struggle like a person shouldn't have to. Have you ever seen your mother unable to stand with 3 people assiting her? Have you seen her fall so many times because her body has been so ravaged by this disease? Well, heart breaking doesn't even cover it.

    There are so many factors here and I am actually excited they found something out there- maybe this one small piece can lead to more information and possibly help people like my mother and my aunt. Or my children or their children since I am sure we are all carriers of this horrible disease. So as I wipe away the tears falling down my cheeks maybe some of you can pull your heads out of your hiney and see the real issue here. There are real people who die and struggle with this disease every single day. And if your life hasn't been affected by this, thank your lucky stars.

    September 14, 2010 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • unretired05

      Take heart that genetic research continues. Stem cell research shows probably the most promise. Attitude and moving as much as you can for yourself seems to be the best way to fight right now. Don't let it get you down. At my wifes family reunion (getting smaller all the time) the cousins talked of having walker races. They could have had another class for electric scooters. If you don't laugh in its face you will cry.

      September 14, 2010 at 02:28 | Report abuse |
  33. unretired05

    What does race mean? A genetic difference. MD is a group of diseases that include many types affecting different genes. The study uses death certificates to determine MD factors. One type that I'm familiar with has a relationship to the same gene as Early Onset Alzheimers. The females in the family tend to be diagnosed with SMA or Limb Girdle MD while the males lean more toward the Early Onset Alzheimers. Same gene, same family, different manifestations. This is not a hard and fast rule because some of the men are diagnosed with MD and most both male and female, but not all suffer with Alzheimers symptoms later on. I'm not sure how the death certificate list cause of death. Many times it is aspiration pneumonia. At ahy rate it's not raace its genes.

    September 14, 2010 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. AfricanandAmericanPatriot

    If thiese findings are true, I wonder why there isn't a single case of MD in Nigeria or Ivory Coast or Ghana where the population is 90% blacks? These findings arebased on skin color of the peoples involved and not DNA. Somehow some zealot racist scienctist is propagating his agenda slowly. Did CNN actually authenticate this article before publishing it? Is CNN the new medium for the skin heads and Neo Nazis propaganda? Is Rupert Murdoch the Majority share holder of CNN now?

    September 14, 2010 at 01:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • unretired05

      If you read the first sentence "Whites with muscular dystrophy live up to 12 years longer than their African American counterparts, according to a study published Monday in Neurology." you could have saved yourself the time of attacking CNN. Why don't you just go after the source "Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and University of Pennsylvania". Published in Neurology = neurolog.org

      September 14, 2010 at 02:05 | Report abuse |
    • WillyWalnuts

      I agree... these scientists had to be black because only blacks will benefit from this study? Whites with MD live longer and saying so isn't going to help them at all.

      September 14, 2010 at 07:59 | Report abuse |
    • Ham

      AfricanandAmericanPatriot: Everyone knows the big media outlets are run by just a handful of Jewish men. They have a serious agenda against blacks and hispanics. They also report the news about the middle east ALWAYS in favor of Israel. It is as obvious as the nose on my face. Go to youtube.com and read countless NON AMERICAN NEWS articles to see the bigotry and slants with which they tell their stories. Its sickening. But, how else do you think America as young as it is made it to the top? By stepping on everyone else to get there.

      September 14, 2010 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
  35. ActuallyReadtheArticle

    Please note:
    “this dataset did not include information about quality of life..."
    "This racial disparity could be due to sociocultural barriers..."
    Relax buddy, this article was referring to the scientifically proven difference in life expectancy in blacks and whites due to their deiease. It was not saying whites are better than blacks. It specifically said that there was a difference, and they aren't sure why. It could be sociocultural, it could be socioeconomic. They need to find out why.

    September 14, 2010 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Practical thinker

    Perhaps the disparity in life span is a case where Blacks have on average, had less access to, let alone received treatment for this disease at a considerably lower rate than that of whites for both genders.

    September 14, 2010 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Honky Joe

    It's not genetics, the difference was just the coloreds who got shot by another colored

    September 14, 2010 at 02:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Munchkin

    Nicole, That is exactly what genes do........

    September 14, 2010 at 03:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. schwaa56

    stats seem to show more of a gender divide than race. It's a known fact women are more likely to seek medical attention sooner than males so that would explain some of the discrepancy as well as women have greater longevity. If you really need to have race is a dividing issue when it comes to a disease how about the rate of Sickle Cell . It's all just media hype to inflame opinions and attitude on both sides of the race fence.

    September 14, 2010 at 03:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Gerald

    I'm not sure I understand your comment? Different races have a different biological makeup. I do not believe they are telling you any stories at all in this article. When it come to medicine, CNN is not going to make black or white comments. Why in the world would a medical team go black or white? You have to be kidding me.

    September 14, 2010 at 04:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. SJtR

    Ironic about this, and also how only blacks get sickle cell. Kind of makes one re-think that White superior race thing again, huh?

    September 14, 2010 at 04:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. SJtR

    I meant to say, negros being that is the correct topological title for their unique race/breed, being they and Whites are not genetically alike at all =0

    September 14, 2010 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Squeeker

      And you REALLY sound like the scientist, geeeez! STFU!

      September 14, 2010 at 04:58 | Report abuse |
  43. Squeeker

    All silly race issues aside, I think the quote at the end should be well spotlighted: ..." increases in age at death do not necessarily equate with improvements in quality of life.” Our medical and scientific professionals seem hell-bent on keeping people alive at almost ANY cost (financial, life-quality, etc.) and that's just insane! Fighting against mother-nature, in some cases, is a losing battle and what does it get you? Perhaps a few more years with steadily declining quality of life!

    September 14, 2010 at 04:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Mike

    Well since we are comparing races and medical conditions, I would like to let everyone know that whites are far more likely to be hearing impaired than blacks. Just a fact that blacks rarely experience deafness. Is that fair?

    September 14, 2010 at 05:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. dongfanghong

    What's with all the crying about racism? Do you feel more qualified than these researchers? Blacks experience less dental cavities, Asians experience more digestive tract cancer and countless other racial differences. What are you so angry about? Can't handle them?

    September 14, 2010 at 05:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. AJ

    Within several days after birth, Caucasian & African American babies normally have a peak blood bilirubin level of 5 to 6 mg/dl, whereas Asian babies peak around 10 to 14 mg/dl. Shall we do away with these "racial" distinctions and say there's "no problem" when your Caucasian baby is at 12 mg/dl and showing visible jaundice?

    September 14, 2010 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Rainrtr

    Duchenne (as opposed to the other dozens of disorders with different genetic causes, symptoms and progressions that are lumped together eroneously as muscular dystrophy – a group name) affects all races equally. We know that indigenous Australians with Duchenne are more severe in presentation/progression. It is theorized that this severity is due to their higher percent of fast-twitch muscle fibres, ironically the very thing which sets them apart as superior atheletes. So don't automatically assume that everything is socio-economic and/or racist. Science is about facts and depending upon circumstances all persons are either physically disadvantaged or advantaged by our many and various differences. We could say that Duchenne is "sexist" because it discriminates against men as it is common in males (1:3,500), and very very rare in females but there is again a reason for this. The gene causing Duchenne it is located on the x chromosome – so if there has been a mutation of the dystrophin gene , which is the biggest gene and thus biggest target in the body, because of environmental factors and more rarely inherited nowadays with the availability of reproductive technology, men have no good x to fall back on, having only one copy (xy). Thus their bodies cannot make the vital muscle stabilizing protein to stop their muscle cells exploding and disappearing into their blood stream or the terrible cascading consequences of cruel and unrelenting progressive weakness for all boys, no matter their ancestry.

    September 14, 2010 at 06:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Jeff

    Future CNN headline:

    World Ends, All Dead. Women and Minorities Hit Hardest.

    September 14, 2010 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • haha

      ahhah good one! Even after we are all dead, white people will still have an inferiority complex.

      ' I may be dead too but I LOOK better dead than you black man!' hahahha lame.

      September 14, 2010 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
  49. WDrad


    September 14, 2010 at 07:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. autom

    I think it's possible that we are genetically different in some ways, other than skin color, but it has become politically incorrect to state as such. It's automatically assumed the person is trying to prove superiority or inferiority, when that's not the case at all. I remember an episode of House(?) where a black guy didn't want to take heart disease medicine catered to black people because he was trained to think that such a thing is automatically racist. I think the people ignoring science, and automatically assuming socioeconomic variables are the main cause are part of the problem, as they're the ones playing racial stereotypes.

    September 14, 2010 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
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