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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Racial categories are used in the biomedical sciences both at the population and individual level. At the population level, race is used in fields like epidemiology, to describe and explain variations in the rate or risk of morbidity and mortality within the United States, and at the individual level, race is used in the hospital and clinic, in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Both uses are controversial and raise questions about the nature and importance of racial categories, such as which uses benefit individuals and which benefit groups.

Keywords: racial classification, racial variation in health, race in epidemiology, race in medicine, health care and blacks

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