Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences


Public Health


Asthma is the most common respiratory disease in the United States with over 20 million Americans living with the disease in 2019. Black Americans share a disproportionate amount of these cases, having a higher incidence of asthma morbidity and a higher prevalence of asthmatic episodes. In addition, Black American asthma mortality rates are 75% higher than that of White counterparts according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This study investigates the social determinants of health (SDOH) associated with asthma mortality of Black Americans.

Unfortunately, SDOH and socioeconomic status (SES) can paint an asthmatic patient’s outcome. Exposure and risk factors become more prevalent as SES decreases. Increased exposure to poor housing, stress, and air pollution significantly affects the rate of asthma in all races and ethnicities. However, in the U.S, Black Americans are among the few race groups that have disproportionate representation in neighborhoods with lower SES. Despite the development and treatment of asthma with corticosteroid inhalants, Black Americans are still five times as likely to visit the ER due to asthma.

By acknowledging and understanding the key factors that enable this disparity, steps can be taken to mitigate negative effects and ensure better patient outcomes for this population.

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