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Health Equity and Access Weekly Roundup: May 25, 2024

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The Center on Health Equity & Access offered novel insights on transgender health and pulmonary medicine with late-breaking data and expert interviews from the American Thoracic Society annual meeting.

Study Challenges Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria Claims With Longitudinal Data

A recent study revealed that gender identity among sexual and gender minority (SGM) youths can be fluid over time, but these changes do not significantly affect depressive symptoms. Researchers tracked 366 SGM youths over approximately 3.5 years, finding that around 18.3% reported shifting their gender identity at least once. Interestingly, the study highlighted that youths transitioning from cisgender to transgender or gender diverse initially exhibited higher depression levels, but this was not statistically significant after adjusting for exposure to violence.

As AI Utilization Advances in Health Care, Experts at ATS 2024 Share Insights

During the first keynote session of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2024 International Conference, there was a focus on the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in health care. The session also addressed the critical issue of bias in AI algorithms that could perpetuate disparities. Moderated by Michael Howell, MD, MPH, from Google, the session brought together experts to discuss AI's evolving role in health care. Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH, from Stanford University, and Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD, from the University of Colorado, shared insights on AI's impact and challenges in their respective fields, with a focus on cardiovascular disease and bias in medical data interpretation.

Experts Explore Barriers to Diversity in Respiratory Medicine Trials and Diagnostic Tools

At the ATS 2024 International Conference, experts highlighted health disparities in respiratory medicine, particularly in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). They emphasized the need to diversify data, update diagnostic tools, and revise regulatory standards. Gehan Davendra, MD, stressed the importance of building trust to increase participation from diverse populations in PAH clinical trials. Ashraf Fawzy, MD, MPH, revealed the inaccuracy of pulse oximetry in people with darker skin and called for technological advancements and regulatory updates to ensure more accurate and equitable outcomes.

Exploring Critical Advances in ARDS, Asthma, Lung Cancer, Health Equity at ATS 2024

The "Clinical Year in Review" session at ATS 2024 discussed updates on acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), childhood asthma, health equity, and lung cancer. The need to address disparities was highlighted in all portions of the presentation. Shewit Giovanni, MD, discussed ARDS, including updates to the Berlin definition and the need for further studies on patient heterogeneity. She also reviewed significant COVID-19 studies and analyzed minority representation in clinical trials, finding persistent disparities in outcomes, especially among Black patients. Giovanni called for strategies to improve minority representation and address systemic inequalities in clinical research.

Dr Julie Linton Addresses Disparities in Pediatric Care for Immigrant Children in the US

Another keynote series of the ATS 2024 conference was held featuring Julie Linton, MD, FAAP, and other expert speakers. They highlighted disparities and discussed ways to improve access to care for immigrant populations. Linton, the immediate past chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Immigrant Child and Family Health, addressed the disparities within health care services that impact immigrant populations in the United States. She discussed cultural differences, various types of immigration statuses, and how access to care can vary based on the state in which these patients are living.

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