In February 2005, a national workshop was held in Chicago, IL, to examine the problem of asthma disparities. The stated goals of the workshop were as follows: (1) to review the current evidence related to eliminating asthma disparities, and highlight the successes in addressing this problem for Chicago and other US communities; and (2) to set an action agenda for accelerating solutions to this public health problem.
To achieve this goal, we assembled a multidisciplinary group of > 100 national experts in the fields of clinical research, clinical practice implementation, health-care administration, minority health, health services research, public health practice, health care financing, health policy, and consumer advocacy. In a 2-day conference, this group of experts reviewed key issues related to asthma health (http://apps.icahn.mssm.edu/asthma/) disparities; considered current research, clinical care, and policy related to this problem; and developed a practical set of recommendations (“action agenda”) to reduce these disparities by means of new research opportunities, to propose new directions in clinical and public policy, and to innovative consumer strategies to promote change.
The workshop was structured around key themes. Each theme was introduced through discussions of related background papers. Each of the background articles are presented in this supplement and include the following:
Genetics: The literature suggests that one or more asthma-related bimolecular asthma pathways may have genetic polymorphisms that may differ among minority populations.