Center for Reducing Asthma Disparities - Meharry/Vanderbilt Centers
The purpose of this study is to determine the mechanisms underlying the disparities in asthma and to improve asthma care in pregnant women, a targeted group at high risk for asthma-specific maternal and perinatal complications.
|Study Design:||Observational Model: Cohort|
|Official Title:||Center for Reducing Asthma Disparities - Meharry/Vanderbilt Centers|
- Asthma related maternal/fetal morbidities and asthma control [ Time Frame: Measured between two and six weeks following delivery ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
|Study Start Date:||September 2002|
|Study Completion Date:||May 2008|
|Primary Completion Date:||May 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Asthma is a serious chronic condition affecting over 14 million Americans. Data indicate that rates of asthma are higher in certain populations. In fact, African Americans and Hispanics from the Northeast are twice as likely to die from asthma as whites. African Americans are four times as likely to be hospitalized for asthma and are five times more likely than whites to seek care for asthma at an emergency department. Reasons for these higher rates are not certain, and most likely result from an interaction of risk factors such as environmental exposures, genetic predisposition, access to appropriate medical care, socioeconomic status, and cultural health practices. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) supports a variety of activities to address the pressing public health problems posed by asthma. However, progress in reducing disparities has been disappointingly slow. Separate, independent research projects have generated important clues for understanding the nature and scope of the problem, but a more coordinated, interdisciplinary, and comprehensive approach to research is needed. By fostering partnerships among minority medical centers, research intensive institutions, and the communities in which asthma patients live, cooperative research centers can help increase the capacity to improve health outcomes among minority and economically disadvantaged populations.
This study will comprise three groups: pregnant women with asthma, children requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission for asthma, and asthmatics requiring emergency care. In one part of the study, researchers will randomly assign pregnant women with asthma of African American or Hispanic race/ethnicity to one of two culturally sensitive asthma education and smoking cessation programs. At the same time, investigators will examine asthma-related morbidity in a large cohort of pregnant asthmatic women utilizing administrative data and vital records. Perceptions of asthma severity and ways to describe it appear to differ in African Americans compared to whites. Therfore, asthmatic patients attending the emergency room, along with their families, will be invited to participate in a focus group to validate a culturally sensitive instrument to allow improved descriptors of asthma severity for African Americans. Estimates by the patients of asthma severity will be matched to objective measure, and compared with those of whites. This methodology will then be used to extend the hypothesis to children admitted with severe asthma to the region's only pediatric ICU. In the pediatric ICU, the admission rates and outcomes will be associated with the potentially important genetic variations in the beta 2 adrenergic receptor (BADR2). Using parents and non-affected siblings as case controls, a novel computational method will test for gene-gene interactions that explain a genetic basis for asthma disparities in severe asthma.
|United States, Tennessee|
|Vanderbilt University Medical Center|
|Nashville, Tennessee, United States, 37232|
|Meharry Medical School|
|Nashville, Tennessee, United States, 37208|
|Principal Investigator:||James R. Sheller||Vanderbilt University|
|Principal Investigator:||John J. Murray||Meharry Medical School|