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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008 Sep;101(3):256-63. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)60490-5.

Racial disparities in asthma-related health outcomes in severe or difficult-to-treat asthma.

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Genentech Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.



The underlying reasons for racial disparities in asthma morbidity are not well understood. Multivariate epidemiologic studies evaluating the presence and extent of racial differences in a large cohort of adults with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma are lacking.


To analyze an extensive array of clinical and patient-reported outcomes, using multivariate analysis with a sequential approach, to explain racial differences in asthma-related outcomes in one of the largest cohorts of difficult-to-treat asthmatic patients.


Black and white patients (> or = 18-years-old at baseline) were included (n = 2,128). Differences between the 2 racial groups were assessed using several outcome measures at month 12. Assessments were adjusted for confounding variables using a sequence of statistical models.


Most patients were white (88.6%). Blacks were slightly younger, less educated, and more likely to live in urban areas than whites. Blacks were more likely to have severe asthma and to be treated with 3 or more long-term controllers. Poorer quality of life, more asthma control problems, and higher risk of emergency department visits were observed in blacks compared with whites; differences were not explained by adjustment for broad sets of confounding variables. Differences in asthma-related health outcomes remained statistically significant after adjusting for asthma severity.


Asthma is a serious health problem in blacks and is not explained by differences in demographics, severity, or other health conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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