Study Seeks to Improve Asthma Therapy for African-Americans

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee are collaborating on a new clinical study to determine what combination and dosage of medications work best to manage asthma in African- Americans.

“African-Americans suffer much higher rates of serious asthma attacks, hospitalizations, and asthma-related deaths than whites do,” says Dr. Robert Lemanske, professor of medicine in the division of allergy and immunology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “Our goal is to better understand why African-Americans don’t respond as well to the traditional therapies and whether genetics plays a role in treatment response.”

UW and Aurora are two of 30 sites in 14 states taking part in the clinical trial, Best African-American Response to Asthma Drugs, or BARD. The trial will examine the effectiveness of different doses of inhaled corticosteroids used with or without the addition of a long-acting beta agonist in 500 African-Americans age five and older. UW and Aurora are seeking to enroll 60 participants.

The BARD study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). UW-Madison is a member of AsthmaNet, a nationwide clinical research network created by the NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 2009. The purpose of AsthmaNet is to develop and conduct multiple clinical trials that explore new approaches in treating asthma from childhood through adulthood.

For more information about the study, visit Those interested in participating in the study can call 608-265-8291 for adults and teens; 608-263-3360 for pediatrics; and 414-219-4873 for individuals in the Milwaukee area.