Navigation Links
Do Blacks Have Genetic Weakness to Asthma?
Date:9/30/2007

Study suggestion questioned by experts

SUNDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans who have asthma are much more likely to visit emergency rooms or be hospitalized for the condition than their white counterparts.

That's the finding of a new study that reaches the controversial conclusion that "these findings suggest that genetic differences may underlie these racial disparities."

However, that genetics theory was quickly challenged by some experts in the field.

Previous studies have shown that black people with asthma have worse control of their symptoms and higher rates of hospitalization and death than whites, said the authors of the new study, who noted that adjustments for socioeconomic status have not explained the disparities.

The researchers, from the University of California, San Francisco, studied 678 people -- 524 white and 154 black -- who were being treated for asthma under a large health-care plan and were hospitalized between 2000 and 2004. All were interviewed at the time of hospital discharge about their health status and socioeconomic status, with U.S. Census data used to reinforce their socioeconomic information.

In a follow-up period that averaged 1.9 years, 35.7 percent of the blacks visited emergency rooms for asthma symptoms, compared to 21 percent of the whites. The hospitalization rate was 26.6 percent for the blacks, versus 15.3 percent for the whites.

"Even in a health-care setting that provides uniform access to care, black race was associated with worse asthma outcomes," and genetics could be the difference, said the researchers, who published their findings in the Sept. 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

But the reality is not that simple, said Dr. Lauren Smith, an associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University. She led a larger study two years ago that found that socioeconomics played a big role in asthma management when income fell well below the poverty line.

The San Francisco researchers said they adjusted for socioeconomic factors, "but even when one looks at such factors, there are differences that often go unincorporated because they are not easy to handle," Smith said. "Housing quality, segregation in the neighborhood, these are things that generally are not accounted for when you control for socioeconomic status. And the experience of race is complicated, and the measures you have to look at socioeconomic status generally are broad."

Those factors mean that "a genetic explanation needs to pass a high bar to come to that conclusion," Smith said.

The worse outcome for blacks could be partially explained by another factor noted in the study, Smith said, that blacks were less likely to achieve control of their asthma with medications. "There are substantial differences in medication use, and that is an important thing to recognize as a possible contributor," she said.

Dr. Ronina Covar, a staff physician at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, said the strength of the new study is that it eliminates one confounding factor from previous studies. "In this case, they all had equal health care," she said.

But "they obviously don't present any genetic data," Covar said. Still, she said, genetics "could be one of the mechanisms and possible explanations for the findings."

More information

To learn more about asthma, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Lauren Smith, M.D., associate professor, pediatrics, Boston University; Ronina Covar, M.D., staff physician, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver; Sept. 24, 2007, Archives of Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Blacks decline Lung cancer surgery
2. Fewer Blacks Undergo Lung Cancer Surgery
3. Home Remedies More Used By Blacks And Native Americans
4. Malfunction Of Key Growth Factor Increases Mortality Rate From Pulmonary Fibrosis In Blacks
5. Blacks and East Asians Prone To Side Effects of Cardiovascular Drugs
6. U.S: Prize for the best hearing category (ethnic groups) goes to…. Non-Hispanic Blacks
7. Genes May Trigger Repeated Premature Birth In Blacks
8. Bladder Cancer Has Worse Outcomes In Blacks
9. US Experts Necessitated On An Action Plan To Curb AIDS In Blacks
10. Blacks Get Treatment on Par With Whites for Cardiovascular Disease
11. Hospitals in Older Cities Close Down, Blacks Worst Affected
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ProVest ... the greater Dallas, Miami, and Raleigh regions, is organizing an extended charity drive ... rare and deadly chromosome abnormality. , After struggling since birth with several health ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... IL (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... which established the certification process to promote standards of excellence for the field ... Symposium, scheduled for March 22 – 25, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care ... have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. ... for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a segment ... of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS Member ... with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 ... characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  BioPharmX Corporation (NYSE ... team that developed an innovative way to use nonlinear ... the delivery of new drugs. ... Clinical Dermatology Conference will show how researchers from BioPharmX ... Harvard Medical School used a suite of imaging techniques ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ... Aspen Surgical facility in Las Piedras, Puerto ... scalpels and blades. ... that the facility sustained minor structural damage, temporary loss ... Maria. Repairs have been completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... 6, 2017   Provista, a proven leader ... billion in purchasing power, today announced a new resource ... The Newsroom is the online home for case ... expert bios, news releases, slideshows and events. ... wealth of resources at their fingertips, viewers can also ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: