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Black Asthma Patients Seen Less Responsive to Drugs

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Steroid therapy for asthma appears to be less effective for African Americans than whites, which may help explain why asthma often seems more severe in blacks, according to a new report.

“Regardless of asthma status or severity, African-Americans in our study required higher doses of a (steroid) than Caucasians ” to stop the production of inflammatory cells, lead author Dr. Ronina A. Covar, from the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, said in a statement. The findings, reported in the medical journal Chest, are based on a study of 395 asthmatic subjects and 202 healthy subjects who underwent various tests to assess their responsiveness to steroids. Twenty-seven percent of the asthmatic subjects were black as were 52 percent of those without asthma. As noted, the researchers found that the amount of steroid needed to block immune cell production was much higher in blacks than in whites, a finding that held true in both the asthmatic and non-asthmatic groups. “African-Americans’ suboptimal response to asthma medications may contribute to poor asthma control and, therefore, an increased prevalence of asthma-related” problems in this population, Covar noted. As such, black patients with poorly controlled asthma on standard doses may require higher doses or the use of additional drugs, she added. (Source: Chest, Reuters Health, February 2005.)

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Dates

Posted On: 8 February, 2005
Modified On: 16 January, 2014

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