Black Asthma Patients More Likely To Need Urgent Care

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Blacks are more prone than whites to require urgent care for asthmacomplications, likely because of genetics, according to a reportreleased on Monday and published in September's Archives of Internal Medicine, Reuters reports.

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For the study, researchers from the University of California-San Franciscoexamined 678 patients who sought treatment for asthma complications athospitals between 2000 and 2004. The patients were tracked after theirvisits to determine whether they sought further care from the emergencydepartment or had been readmitted to the hospital.

More than35% of blacks sought care from the ED after their initial visit,compared with 21% of whites. In addition, more than 26% of blacks werereadmitted to the hospital, compared with 15% of whites. Previousstudies found similar disparities and attributed them to significantdifferences in therapy. However, the most recent study did not finddifferences in therapy, socioeconomic status or severity of the asthmato be likely causes, Reuters reports.

"Thesefindings suggest that genetic differences may underlie these racialdisparities," the researchers said, adding, "Further investigation ofgenetic differences and gene-environment interactions in blackpopulations is needed to better understand the reasons" (Reuters, 9/24).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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