Why A Black Child Is More Prone To Asthma?

It was believed that the Black Americans get hospitalized more often than their white counterparts, especially when the medical condition of Asthma is taken into consideration. But, now the news has been confirmed by the recent study which suggests that racial disparities do affect the genetic differences which make a black child to more prone to asthma. Well, still a few of the experts of the same field has challenged this genetic theory.

It is very well known that asthma is one of those common medical conditions which affect children more than the adults. It is also known that there are a few category of people who faces this medical problem in a more usual basis. The council of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that “a black child is more prone to asthma than a white child”. Also, a black child possess a risk of 10 times more likely to die of the complications of asthma than a white child.


To understand the real medical reasons behind this genetic theory, a team of scientists from the University of California is performing several experiments to confirm the genetic theory. But, in order to dig deeper to get the reasons, they have found that the genetic information that is possessed by the scientists and which is the core of the genetic theory of asthma are not applicable to Afro-Americans.

Marquitta White, a geneticist from this team of scientists has revealed that the genetic studies for most of the diseases, including asthma is consisted of the genetic information of Caucasian- or European-descent people. White also confirmed that these studies do not include many people who belongs to minor category which means that these people, which belongs to minority are not getting appropriate care as scientists are not aware about the disease etiology in particular.

The UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) is focusing on three main minor communities like the genes of black, Mexican-American, and Puerto Rican children to get a better understanding of their bodies’ response towards several medications and drugs. Esteban Buchard who is a pulmonologist in this team of scientists has presented an example to make us understand how being black affects in the medication asthma. Buchard says, ‘if you are an Afro-American than you are prone to 8 times to the risk of dying if you undergo the common medication of asthma, which is very well familiar amongst the physician by the name of Advair.’


According to the study of the scientists of UCSF, they believe that the most commonly prescribed drug (which is albuterol) in case of asthma do reacts differently with with different individuals. Their study confirms that the children of Puerto Rico and Afro-America possess the worst kind of response to drugs. And, according their study ill response of the two communities towards the drug and the high mortality rate of these two communities might be interlinked.

Appropriate Medication For Particular Communities

One can keep the kids safe from the medical condition of asthma if they get the proper treatment to prevent it.


A non-profit organization of America, Breathmobile has taken an initiative of treating the children of low-income families. They has started a mobile clinic named as Breathmobile which was used to be a motorhome and now converted to a motor clinic. This Breathmobile offers free treatment to the low-income families of East Bay. Asthma is a common disease among children (especially in black children) but its causes are almost similar. The factors which can cause asthma are obesity, air pollution, smoking, perfumes, and even genes. So, if your ancestral family member was once affected by asthma, then there is a chance that you will be inherited by the same disease.


Marquitta White highlights that 60 percent of cause of asthma is related to the genetic factors. And, now when the genetic factors are associated with the people affected by asthma in a single family, then the percentage can vary from 35 to 90 percent. According to White, scientists and doctors need to understand that every patient needs an individual way of treatment. And to do so, medical professionals need to make sure that they understand how a disease affects in an individual body. This will surely help to reduce the risk of a black child dying due to asthma.

While Esteban Buchard of the same team focuses on how health disparity can be explained by the inclusion of minor communities in the studies. To prove this genetic concept, Buchard used the concept of heart diseases when the experiment was just subjected to men. Buchard said that, “Women present differently than men do for heart attacks. So, a whole generation of physicians were misclassifying and misdiagnosing women simply because women were not involved in the original clinical trials”.


Well, Dr. Lauren Smith who is an associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University performed a research two years ago, which confirms that the socioeconomic factors affect the condition of asthma in a black child. She reacted to this new genetic theory by saying that, "a genetic explanation needs to pass a high bar to come to that conclusion”.

On the other hand, Dr. Ronina Covar who is a physician at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver said that this new study does not present any kind of genetic information. Although, Ronina accepts that genetics could be a possible reason behind a black child’s being more prone to asthma than a white child.

The whole research points to the fact that there is still no exact and prominent proof which confirms that a black child is more likely to get affected by asthma than its white counterpart.

Also read: Natural Remedies for Asthma

Tiru Dehariya

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