Analysis Reveals Why Asthma Inhalers Fail Minority Children

The largest-ever whole-genome sequencing study of drug response in minority children has revealed new clues about why the front-line asthma drug albuterol does not work as well for African-American and Puerto Rican children as it does for European American or Mexican children.

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease in the world, according to World Health Organization estimates. Children with asthma experience difficulty breathing as a result of chronic inflammation of the airways, which can be alleviated by inhaling drugs called bronchodilators that make the muscles lining the airways relax, allowing them to reopen. Albuterol is the most commonly prescribed bronchodilator in the world, and often the only medication available to children in lower income settings.

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