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The Racist Healthcare System that Failed JaMarcus Crews

Longreads

JaMarcus Crews’ mom was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes while she was pregnant with him, making him more likely to develop the condition himself. As Lizzie Presser reports at ProPublica, he worked hard to manage his health after being diagnosed as a teen. He did everything right, everything they told him to do. He watched what he ate. He exercised. He lost weight. He drove hours and hours, sometimes having to borrow gas money to attend life-saving dialysis after the disease progressed. His only mistake? Putting his trust in a system that was set up to fail him as a Black man with Type 2 diabetes.

A race-adjusted equation was also at play in JaMarcus’ case. The formula calculates kidney function by looking at what’s called “estimated glomerular filtration rate,” or eGFR. Creatinine is plugged into the formula along with age, sex and race. Doctors must note whether…

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