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Omalizumab helps black and white patients with asthma

Published: July 21, 2021

The hardships that are associated with asthma may be worse for Black patients than White patients. Black patients have worse quality of life and require more emergency department visits for their asthma. Why asthma is different between Black and White patients is unknown, but it could be due to a combination of genetic, environmental, or social factors. To make matters worse, Black patients may not respond as well as White patients to treatments for asthma, for example Black patients may need more corticosteroids than White patients. In the United States, omalizumab is an approved treatment for moderate to severe allergic asthma for patients aged 6 years and older. In many studies omalizumab has been shown to reduce how often asthma exacerbations occur and improve asthma symptoms, lung function, and quality of life. However, we don’t know whether omalizumab has the same affect in both White and Black patients.

A study looking at whether omalizumab works in both White and Black patients was conducted by Dr Stanley Szefler and his colleagues and was recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. This study combined patients from 2 previous studies that had looked at omalizumab treatment for patients aged 12 years or older with allergic asthma.

This study found that omalizumab worked the same way in both White and Black patients. In both groups, omalizumab reduced the occurrence of asthma exacerbations, improved lung function, and improved quality of life. Dr Szefler and his colleagues concluded that omalizumab would provide similar benefits for both Black and White patients with moderate to severe allergic asthma.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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