Black Asthma Patients More Likely Than Whites To Need Urgent Care, Be Readmitted Into Hospital, Report Indicates
Blacks are more prone than whites to require urgent care for asthma complications, likely because of genetics, according to a report released on Monday and published in September's Archives of Internal Medicine, Reuters reports.
For the study, researchers from the University of California-San Francisco examined 678 patients who sought treatment for asthma complications at hospitals between 2000 and 2004. The patients were tracked after their visits to determine whether they sought further care from the emergency department or had been readmitted to the hospital.
More than 35% of blacks sought care from the ED after their initial visit, compared with 21% of whites. In addition, more than 26% of blacks were readmitted to the hospital, compared with 15% of whites. Previous studies found similar disparities and attributed them to significant differences in therapy. However, the most recent study did not find differences in therapy, socioeconomic status or severity of the asthma to be likely causes, Reuters reports.
"These findings suggest that genetic differences may underlie these racial disparities," the researchers said, adding, "Further investigation of genetic differences and gene-environment interactions in black populations is needed to better understand the reasons" (Reuters, 9/24).
An abstract of the study is available online.