Lancet Perspectives article by Angela Saini: "Stereotype threat". Raises questions about race & health

14 October, 2020

I wonder if any HIFA members would like to share views on this Lancet Perspectives article written by science journalist and author Angela Saini, in which she touches on race & health.

These are interesting issues not only in relation to healthcare provision, but in the provision of healthcare information.

I don't have any academic knowledge of this area, but Neil invited me to share my own views/experiences. So, here I share a couple of personal experiences that come to mind.

As someone of Asian origin it's interesting to reflect on the fact that my GP (who also happens to be of Asian origin) recently said "we are more likely to get diabetes" rather than focus on my individual risk. [I might have been at a lower risk than a non-Asian person with high risk factors such as bad food/exercise habits and a close family history of diabetes].

Another anecdote: Some years ago, when my father had bypass surgery, I recall the surgeon coming to talk to us after the successful operation. He said he was very relieved that the operation had gone well as when he'd seen his "list" for the day and learned that the patient was over 60 and Asian his "heart sank" as Asians have tiny blood vessels. I wonder if this thought affected him while he carried out his surgery?

Perhaps members want to discuss the issue and their own experiences (personal or in a work context) via the forum?

Best wishes


HIFA profile: Julie N Reza is a UK-based specialist in communications for biosciences, global health & international development ( She predominantly works with NGOs and not-for-profit organisations. Previously she was the senior science editor at TDR, based at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva; prior to this she worked at the Wellcome Trust, UK, leading educational projects on international health topics including trypanosomiasis and trachoma. She has a PhD in immunology and a specialist degree in science communication. She also has several years research and postgraduate teaching experience. She is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and HIFA Social Media Working Group.

Email: naimareza AT