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Racism Aggravates Treatment-Resistant Asthma

an African-American girl uses an asthma inhalerRacial discrimination experienced by African-American children and young adults exacerbates a type of asthma known to be resistant to standard treatment, according to a study headed by researchers at UC San Francisco. The 576 study participants, who were African-Americans with asthma, aged between 8 and 21, were asked if they had been hassled, made to feel inferior or prevented from doing something “because of your race, ethnicity, color or language,” in situations including at school, getting medical care and getting services in a store or restaurant. Close to half (281) reported experiences of racial discrimination in any setting at some point in their lives. The researchers found that participants who reported that they had not experienced racial discrimination were close to twice as likely to have controlled asthma (37 percent) compared to those who said they did (21 percent). The average bronchodilator response was 1.7 per cent higher in the discriminated group.

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