Why African Americans are routinely more hospitalized for asthma despite comparable levels in the severity of disease and equal access to healthcare remains a mystery, according to the Sept 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

In a study led by Sara E. Erickson, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, researchers looked at 678 patients who had been hospitalized for asthma, and who were then interviewed after discharge to ascertain information about asthma history, general health, and socio-economic status.

Despite comparable levels of access to health care, African Americans were associated with worse asthma outcomes, including a greater risk of emergency room visits and hospitalizations. These results were not explained by differences in wealth, asthma severity, or asthma therapy.

To read the abstract, click here.