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Children of Different Race Show Different Patterns of Asthma Care

know.”

Many studies have compared asthma care between whites and African Americans, but relatively few have looked at Hispanics and even fewer have looked at Puerto Rican children specifically. “Hispanics are usually reported as one mixed group, although there are substantial differences in asthma outcomes between Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans, for example,” Cohen says. “Furthermore, grouping socioeconomically disadvantaged kids together doesn’t necessarily teach us that much about the children we’re seeing in the clinic.”

Elizabeth Woods, MD, director of the Children’s Hospital Boston Community Asthma Initiative, who was not involved in the study, speculates that families’ willingness to take medications preventively, a cornerstone of good asthma treatment, may be influenced by cultural factors. Overall, only 18 percent of the children classified as having persistent asthma filled prescriptions for preventive medications, such as inhaled steroids, but Puerto Rican families were more likely than African American families to fill them.

“We want patients to preemptively treat symptoms as they start up, so they don’t have severe exacerbations that require emergency visits and hospitalizations,” says Woods. “We need to help people understand the idea of taking preventive medication before they’re sick.”

(Source: Newswise)
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