Asthma African Americans, African American Health, KOLUMN Magazine, Kolumn

Most Asthma Research May Not Apply To African American Children

Most Asthma Research May Not Apply To African American Children
BY NICHOLAS WEILER | UC SAN FRANCISCO

Results from the largest single study of the genetic and environmental causes of asthma in African American children suggest that only a tiny fraction of known genetic risk factors for the disease apply to this population, raising concerns for clinicians and scientists working to stem the asthma epidemic among African Americans.

Asthma African Americans, African American Health, KOLUMN Magazine, Kolumn
Photo by Deborah Svoboda

At the same time, the research also identified new genetic risk factors for asthma in these children, a critical first step toward improving diagnosis and treatment. Ongoing research is digging further into this data to investigate a link between these new risk factors and asthma severity and drug response, two major contributors to asthma mortality.
Asthma African Americans, African American Health, KOLUMN Magazine, Kolumn
“Almost all the genetic studies of asthma have been done using white patients only, but you can’t assume these results will apply to other ethnic groups,” said study senior author Esteban Burchard, M.D., MPH, a professor in the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, director of the UCSF Asthma Collaboratory lab and a member of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. “This paper is an important first step towards truly understanding the biology of asthma in African Americans.”

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UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA


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