The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has created a new program to accelerate research aimed at understanding why certain racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups are more severely affected by asthma than other populations and at determining ways to close the gaps in prevalence and treatment of this common chronic disease. The research - and related training activities - will be conducted through five newly established Centers for Reducing Asthma Disparities. Each Center is composed of an academic center with extensive experience in research and a medical school or medical center that predominately serves minority or economically disadvantaged populations.
The NHLBI initiative addresses a critical need for identifying the factors that contribute to substantially higher rates of emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and deaths due to asthma among certain populations. African Americans, for example, have a slightly higher asthma prevalence rate than Caucasians (8.5 percent versus 7.1 percent), yet they are three times more likely to be hospitalized or to die from asthma complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hispanics and families with low income are also at increased risk.
"This new initiative generates important research that will lead to better ways to reduce the burden of asthma among the groups that are most strongly affected," said NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. "We expect this program to have a far-reaching impact by creating a legacy of research programs for improving asthma care and by ultimately serving as a model for studying ways to reduce disparities in other chronic diseases."
Scientists at the five new Centers will examine a range of research topics focusing on the differences in asthma prevalence, emergency department use, hospitalizations, and deaths between the ethnic and racial groups, and between low-income populations and their more affluent counterparts. RPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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