Cleveland, OH,
10:38 AM

New Use of Inhaled Glucocorticoid Improved Asthma Outcomes for Minority Adults

The MetroHealth System is helping to put focus on a treatment that will help millions of African American and Hispanic patients who suffer from moderate-to-severe asthma.

In the United States, there are more than 3,300 asthma-attributed deaths in adults each year. Minority patients bear a disproportionate percentage of those incidences. They experience higher rates of asthma-related emergency department visits, higher rates of hospitalizations and nearly double the asthma mortality rate compared to white patients.

In the new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, African American and Hispanic patients with asthma received one-time instruction to use inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) when they used their asthma reliever (in addition to whatever medications they were taking for asthma.)

This new use of ICS, not commonly studied in minority populations, decreased the risk of severe asthma exacerbations by 15%, reduced asthma symptoms, days of work missed and hospitalizations. This is a big breakthrough for people whose asthma is not well controlled.

Minority patients are among the nearly 10,000 people who have been diagnosed with moderate-to-severe asthma in the past three years at MetroHealth.

“This research is a significant breakthrough in using existing asthma medications in a different way to improve the quality of life – decreased symptoms, days of missed work and school, and emergency department visits and hospitalization – for patients with moderate and severe asthma,” said Dr. David Kaelber, MetroHealth Principle Investigator and primary care physician and Professor of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Population and Quantitative Health Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.

MetroHealth participated as one of the top recruitment sites in the multi-centered population trial, providing more than 100 patients for the study. Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine and the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences contributed with their focused research on diseases that are prevalent in the Cleveland community.

About The MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.

The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, three-quarters of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

MetroHealth is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center. 

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.

Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.

The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.

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