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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005 Mar 15;171(6):563-70. Epub 2004 Nov 19.

Pharmacogenetic differences in response to albuterol between Puerto Ricans and Mexicans with asthma.

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University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0833, USA.



In the United States, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans have the highest and lowest asthma prevalence, morbidity, and mortality, respectively. Ethnic-specific differences in the response to drug treatment may contribute to differences in disease outcomes. Genetic variants at the beta(2)-adrenergic receptor (beta(2)AR) may modify asthma severity and albuterol responsiveness. We tested the association of beta(2)AR genotypes with asthma severity and bronchodilator response to albuterol in Puerto Ricans and Mexicans with asthma.


We used both family-based and cross-sectional tests of association with 8 beta(2)AR single nucleotide polymorphisms in 684 Puerto Rican and Mexican families. Regression analyses were used to determine the interaction between genotype, asthma severity, and bronchodilator drug responsiveness.


Among Puerto Ricans with asthma, the arginine (Arg) 16 allele was associated with greater bronchodilator response using both family-based and cross-sectional tests (p = 0.00001-0.01). We found a strong interaction of baseline FEV(1) with the Arg16Glycine (Gly) polymorphism in predicting bronchodilator response. Among Puerto Ricans with asthma with baseline FEV(1) < 80% of predicted, but not in those with FEV(1) > 80%, there was a very strong association between the Arg16 genotype and greater bronchodilator responsiveness. No association was observed between Arg16Gly genotypes and drug responsiveness among Mexicans with asthma.


Ethnic-specific pharmacogenetic differences exist between Arg16Gly genotypes, asthma severity, and bronchodilator response in Puerto Ricans and Mexicans with asthma. These findings underscore the need for additional research on racial/ethnic differences in asthma morbidity and drug responsiveness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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