Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Clin Chest Med. 2023 Sep;44(3):519-530. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2023.03.008. Epub 2023 May 9.


In the United States, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) disproportionately affect African Americans, Puerto Ricans, and other minority groups. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, minorities have been marginalized and more frequently exposed to environmental risk factors such as tobacco smoke and outdoor and indoor pollutants. Such divergent environmental exposures, alone or interacting with heredity, lead to disparities in the prevalence, morbidity, and mortality of asthma and COPD, which are worsened by lack of access to health care. In this article, we review the burden and risk factors for racial or ethnic disparities in asthma and COPD and discuss future directions in this field.

Keywords: Asthma; Black; COPD; Health disparities; Hispanic; Race/ethnicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma* / epidemiology
  • Asthma* / ethnology
  • Asthma* / etiology
  • Black or African American
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / ethnology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White