Cardiac risk estimates differ for Christian and Muslim patients

Oct 23, 2008

In a study of medical students, more serious cardiac risk estimates were given to Christians and less serious estimates for Muslims despite the patients being otherwise identical in their characteristics and symptoms, according to research in an upcoming issue of Medical Decision Making published by SAGE. Risk assessment, the first step in a medical triage process, determines subsequent treatment.

In the study, led by Jamie Arndt, PhD, of the University of Missouri-Columbia, randomly chosen university medical students were asked to answer questions about their own mortality. Afterward, all the study participants inspected fictitious emergency room admittance forms for Muslim and Christian patients complaining of chest pain, and risk assessments were made for each patient. The participants who had been reminded of their personal mortality rendered more serious cardiac risk estimates for Christians and less serious estimates for Muslims despite the patients being otherwise identical in their characteristics and symptoms.

"We should emphasize that there is no reason to suspect intentional biased judgment on the part of medical students, since research indicates that most prejudicial responses occur without people's intent or awareness," write the authors in the article, noting that none of the study participants identified themselves as Muslim. "Still, psychological motivations provoked by concerns with one's mortality can have far-reaching effects in a health care context. Further research is needed because it is vital that these effects be better understood."

Source: SAGE Publications

Explore further: Gamers helping in Ebola research

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Connected devices have huge security holes

Jul 29, 2014

The surge of Web-connected devices—TVs, refrigerators, thermostats, door locks and more—has opened up huge opportunities for cyberattacks because of weak security, researchers said Tuesday.

Singapore grapples with smartphone addiction

Jun 14, 2014

Easily distracted? Can't be separated from your smartphone? Constantly checking your device for no real reason? Chances are you're an addict—and you may even need professional help.

Data breaches create insurance costs

Jun 12, 2014

Cyber attacks. Data breaches. Cyber crime. They've made headlines, and dealing with them is a growing business expense that can run into the millions of dollars for bigger companies.

Recommended for you

Gamers helping in Ebola research

7 hours ago

Months before the recent Ebola outbreak erupted in Western Africa, killing more than a thousand people, scientists at the University of Washington's Institute for Protein Design were looking for a way to stop the deadly virus.

Carcinogenic role of a protein in liver decoded

9 hours ago

The human protein EGFR controls cell growth. It has mutated in case of many cancer cells or exists in excessive numbers. For this reason it serves as a point of attack for target-oriented therapies. A study ...

A new way to diagnose malaria, using magnetic fields

Aug 31, 2014

Over the past several decades, malaria diagnosis has changed very little. After taking a blood sample from a patient, a technician smears the blood across a glass slide, stains it with a special dye, and ...

User comments : 0