Posted on August 1, 2011

Discovery May Explain Higher Asthma Risk in Blacks

Julie Steenhuysen, MSNBC, August 1, 2011

U.S. researchers have discovered a genetic mutation unique to African Americans that could help explain whyblacks are so susceptible to asthma.

Prior studies looking for asthma genes have turned up several, but most of the studies have been too small to confirm these genes or to detect genetic changes unique to different races.

The new study, published on Sunday in the journal Nature Genetics, pools research from nine different research groups looking for genes associated with asthma among ethnically diverse North American populations.

It confirmed four genes that had been seen in previous studies and a fifth that shows up only in people of African descent.


{snip} According to the researchers, U.S. asthma rates in 2001 to 2003 ranged from 7.7 percent among European Americans to 12.5 percent among African Americans.