Ethnicity Affects Drug Response
An analysis of steroid therapy for asthma showed that it is less effectivefor African Americans, compared with Caucasians. The findings may explainwhy asthma oftentimes appears worse in this ethnicity group. The studyinvolved 395 participants with asthma and 202 healthy participants whounderwent different tests to evaluate their responsiveness to steroids.Reporting in Chest (February 2005), the researchers found that 27% of theparticipants with asthma were African American as were 52% of those withoutasthma. The researchers concluded that the amount of steroid requiredto block immune cell production was greater in African Americans, comparedwith Caucasians. The finding was consistent in both the asthma andnonasthma groups.