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Center for Reducing Asthma Disparities - Meharry/Vanderbilt Centers

This study has been completed.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Meharry Medical College
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
James Sheller, Vanderbilt University Identifier:
First received: January 20, 2006
Last updated: December 10, 2014
Last verified: February 2009
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.

Lung Diseases

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Cohort
Official Title: Center for Reducing Asthma Disparities - Meharry/Vanderbilt Centers

Further study details as provided by Vanderbilt University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Asthma related maternal/fetal morbidities and asthma control [ Time Frame: Measured between two and six weeks following delivery ]

Enrollment: 180
Study Start Date: September 2002
Study Completion Date: May 2008
Primary Completion Date: May 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:


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.


Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 60 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
This study will enroll pregnant women with asthma, children requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission for asthma, and asthmatics requiring emergency care.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnant women with asthma
  • Children requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission for asthma
  • Asthmatics requiring emergency care.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00281151

United States, Tennessee
Meharry Medical School
Nashville, Tennessee, United States, 37208
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, Tennessee, United States, 37232
Sponsors and Collaborators
Vanderbilt University
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Meharry Medical College
Principal Investigator: James R. Sheller Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Principal Investigator: John J. Murray Meharry Medical School
  More Information

Responsible Party: James Sheller, Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Identifier: NCT00281151     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1198
U01HL072431 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
U01HL072471 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: January 20, 2006
Last Updated: December 10, 2014

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Lung Diseases
Bronchial Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Respiratory Hypersensitivity
Hypersensitivity, Immediate
Immune System Diseases processed this record on May 24, 2017