Health: Are Drugs Color Blind?

Heart failure takes a particularly heavy toll on black Americans, who are 21/2 times as likely as whites to die of heart failure from age 45 to 65. So there was great excitement when the first African-American heart-failure trial reported that a combination of drugs improved survival rates and quality of life for many black heart patients. The results were favorable enough that the trial was halted so all participants could be given the combo drug treatment, called BiDil. But the study couldn't answer whether BiDil might benefit other patients and, more broadly, what genetic variations really matter in shaping the...