Skip to main content
Black individuals are almost three times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than white individuals. A combination of factors contributes to this alarming statistic.

By Mirna Ayache, MD, MPH | Director of Adult Asthma Program at MetroHealth

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects millions of people worldwide, regardless of race, age, and gender. Some communities bear a much heavier burden.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), black individuals are almost three times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than white individuals. A combination of factors contributes to this alarming statistic.

Understanding the Factors
  • Genetics: Genetics are partly responsible
  • Environmental Exposures: Environmental factors significantly contribute to the asthma gap. Black and minority communities often face higher levels of exposure to indoor allergens like mold and dust mites, as well as outdoor pollutants such as air pollution. These can lead to asthma development and worsening symptoms.
  • Living factors: Lower-income black and minority communities may lack access to quality housing and healthcare, making it more challenging to manage asthma effectively. Such living conditions can make asthma symptoms worse and lead to repeated hospitalizations.
  • Healthcare Disparities: Minorities often face inconsistencies in healthcare access and treatment, resulting in delayed diagnosis and inadequate care, prolonging the cycle of asthma-related health issues.
Reducing the Asthma Burden

Addressing asthma in minority communities is a shared responsibility. Some critical steps that can improve health equity include:

  • Education and Awareness: Empowering people to recognize early asthma symptoms and triggers.
  • Environmental Control: Providing resources and support to help families reduce asthma triggers in their homes, such as home assessments and education on reducing allergens.
  • Access to Quality Healthcare: Advocating for greater access to quality healthcare facilities and medical professionals who provide culturally competent care.
  • Community Engagement: Offering community-based support groups and programs for individuals with asthma.
Asthma Action Plan

At MetroHealth, we help patients to recognize when they are having an asthma flare up so they can control the outcome. It’s a patient-centered approach through education and self-management. In addition, the Institute for H.O.P.E.TM   addresses environmental factors such as safe, stable housing, access to healthy food, reliable transportation, education and training, and job opportunities.

“By increasing awareness, improving healthcare access, and empowering individuals to take control of their health, we can make significant strides towards improving asthma outcomes in the minority communities and enhancing the quality of life for all individuals affected by this condition,” says Mirna Ayache, MD, MPH, Director of Adult Asthma Program.

Make an Appointment

MetroHealth’s asthma clinics help diagnose and treat allergy and asthma symptoms.
To schedule an appointment, call 216-778-5864.
Referrals are not required.

MetroHealth is committed to addressing healthcare disparities and improving the health of all communities. 

Mirna B. Ayache, MD

Director of Adult Asthma Program at MetroHealth