New Research Led by Georgia CTSA Pediatrics Program Director Reveals Racial Disparities in Asthma Related to Healthcare Access

Findings from a nationwide analysis show racial disparities in asthma can largely be explained by examining socioeconomic and environmental factors including access to healthcare, reported from Emory news center. Read more about this study.

While the data reflect that African American patients visit the emergency department more frequently for asthma, these patients are less likely to see a doctor in an outpatient setting. This may be related to scheduling difficulties, cost of asthma medication, or other factors such as health beliefs. Potential targeted interventions that may help with asthma management include mobile asthma clinics and employer-endorsed health initiatives focused on preventative care and wellness.

“It isn’t clear why asthma outcomes are worse in African American patients. The findings from our study suggest that poorer asthma outcomes are not genetic or biological in nature but are instead due to a number of socioeconomic and environmental factors that impact asthma care,” says Anne Fitzpatrick, PhD. “These factors can be modified and improved with the right interventions.” The research was supported by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's Severe Asthma Research Program and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

Fitzpatrick is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Asthma Clinical Research Program in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, and Pediatrics Program Director of the Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance (Georgia CTSA).

The Pediatric Clinical Research Unit at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Center for Advanced Pediatrics is designed to provide the necessary infrastructure for investigators conducting pediatric clinical research and is a pediatric clinical interaction research site of Georgia CTSA. The center improves the ability of pediatric researchers to perform innovative research while providing patients and their families with increased access to leading-edge clinical trials.

The Georgia CTSA is a statewide partnership between Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech, and UGA and is one of over 50 in a national consortium striving to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. The consortium, funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards, shares a common vision to translate laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research efforts, and train the next generation of clinical investigators.