Purpose of review: In spite of numerous efforts, asthma rates in the United States remain historically high and disparities persist among low-income and minority populations. This review assesses the current status of asthma inequities from the perspective of disease development, progression, and outcomes.
Recent findings: Recent findings highlight the complex and multifactorial nature of asthma. There is a clear line of emerging evidence suggestive of important hierarchical relationships between the predisposed or affected individual and his or her intrapersonal life, familial relationships, social networks, and broader community.
Summary: Approaches in basic, clinical, and translational asthma research must be modified to account for the social construct of race and to detangle complex interactions of contributing factors at and across the individual and community level. However, there are a number of obvious opportunities to dramatically reduce asthma disparities at hand.