Update: August 6, 2020: The American Heart Association and the JAHA Editor-in-Chief retracted the paper in question having determined the action is in the best interest of the public and the research community. The author does not agree to the retraction. JAHA will publish a rebuttal. More information is available on the official retraction notice

DALLAS – Aug. 5, 2020 – A March 2020 paper published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) has recently become the subject of significant discourse and warranted concern. The paper, by Norman C. Wang, MD, MS (Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity: Evolution of Race and Ethnicity Considerations for the Cardiology Workforce in the United States of America From 1969 to 2019” - J Am Heart Assoc. 2020;9:e015959. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.120.015959), advocates for ending racial and ethnic preferences for undergraduate and medical school admissions and against affirmative action initiatives, concluding incorrectly that Black and Hispanic trainees in medicine are less qualified than White and Asian trainees.

The following is a statement from the American Heart Association:

The Wang paper has rightfully drawn criticism for its misrepresentations and conclusions. As an organization focused on the relentless pursuit of longer, healthier lives for everyone everywhere, the American Heart Association (AHA) denounces the views expressed in the article and regrets its role in enabling those views to be promoted. Those views are a misrepresentation of the facts and are contrary to our organization’s core values and historic commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in medicine and science.

The American Heart Association remains committed to equity, diversity and inclusion as foundationally essential to its mission. The Association invests in helping to build a diverse health care and scientific research community and actively works to eliminate barriers and increase opportunities in science for people from historically-excluded communities and those impacted by race, ethnicity and class disparities.

The American Heart Association takes the concerns about the Wang paper seriously. We have launched a formal investigation to better understand how a paper that is completely incompatible with the Association’s core values was published. While the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) and the other AHA scientific journals are editorially independent of the Association, we take our responsibility to ensure factual accuracy seriously. The independent editors of JAHA and the American Heart Association are reviewing the journal’s peer-review and publication processes to ensure future submissions containing deliberate misinformation or misrepresentation are never published. The journal can and will do better.

The Association believes much more – not less – needs to be done to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in science, medicine and cardiology. The volunteer and staff leaders of the American Heart Association remain resolved to improve the actions and investments across the organization as well as within the editorially autonomous journals that bear the Association’s trusted name.

We know we can and must do more for the health care and research communities – and ultimately the country – to benefit fully from the variety of experiences and perspectives that exist within historically-excluded communities.

We continue listening, hearing and redoubling our commitment to achieve health equity by eliminating health disparities and societal inequities.



About American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173 or AHAcommunications@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

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