Older Black men were much less likely than White men to receive a prostate MRI during the years 2011 to 2015. The disparity was linked to major drivers of health care inequalities, such as living in an affluent vs poor or more racially segregated neighborhood.
As a diagnostic tool, prostate MRIs improve the identification of prostate cancer and can improve decision-making. Greater access to prostate MRIs has been championed by medical organizations, such as the American Urological Association and the American College of Radiology, and by patient advocacy groups to improve the quality and precision of prostate cancer care.
Researchers analyzed the medical records of nearly 40,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Black men were about 40 percent less likely to have their prostates scanned by an MRI. The disparity in who received an MRI and who didn’t was driven less by the state of a patient’s prostate cancer and more by where the patient came from.
- See “Sociodemographic, structural processes mostly explain racial disparity in prostate MRI use” by Ryan Lawrence on the Helio website (March 3, 2022)
- See the abstract of the scientific paper “Mediators of Racial Disparity in the Use of Prostate Magnetic Resonance Imaging Among Patients With Prostate Cancer” by Michael S Leapman et al.
- See also “Racial Disparities in Prostate Cancer” by Chuck Dinerstein on the American Council on Science and Health website (March 9, 2022)