“One of the examples we found talking to mothers with children, when you ask them how their kids are doing, they’ll say fine because their kids haven’t been to the emergency room,” said Dr. Fernando Holguin, assistant director of the Asthma Institute.

Asthma is thought to be more dangerous for African-Americans because of unequal health access, under treatment, income differences and environmental factors such as allergies and stress. Researchers have also been looking into genetics as a factor.

“It’s a major public health problem that requires a multi-layered approach. I’ve personally seen a lot of people struggle when they shouldn’t have to,” Holguin said. “What we’re trying to do is work with the community as equal partners.”

The Asthma Institute is looking for study participants between the ages of 18 and 75 who are non-smokers and have been diagnosed with asthma. They are also working on other pediatric studies for participants under 18.

(For more information on the Asthma Institute visit www.asthmainstitute.pitt.edu.)


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