Examining "race" in physiology

S. Tony Wolf, Nina G. Jablonski, W. Larry Kenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Racial disparities in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health outcomes are well-described, and recent research has shed light on the mechanistic underpinnings of those disparities. However, "race" is a social construct that is poorly defined and continually evolving, and is historically based on faulty premises. The continued categorization by race in physiological research suggests that there are inherent differences between races, rather than addressing the specific underlying factors that result in health disparities between groups. The purpose of this Perspectives article is to provide a brief history of the genesis of categorization by race, why such categorization should be reconsidered in physiology research, and offer recommendations to more directly investigate the underlying factors that result in group disparities in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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