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This blog post is part of our series on the Promoting Asthma Patient Engagement in Research (PAPER) project. The goal of the program is to increase awareness of asthma and research and to increase patient participation in research.

We need asthma research so experts can find and create new treatments for asthma, and hopefully a cure. Experts decide what research is needed by looking at the effects of asthma.

Choosing what research is needed isn’t always simple. Recently, researchers found that asthma can be different for everyone. Different types of patients can have different types of asthma. And not everyone’s asthma responds the same to medicines. Researchers look at people with asthma of different races or ethnic groups, genders and ages to try to find the best treatments for each.

In 2002, researchers found that asthma patients participating in trials were having different results. This led them to change their focus to finding the causes of these differences. They then began to focus on improving treatment and management in the groups at highest risk.

Who Are in High Risk Groups?

In 2012, researchers realized that minority groups in urban, low-income areas were at highest risk for asthma. African American and Latino children tend to have higher rates of asthma and asthma deaths than white children. These groups have become a main focus of asthma research.

These groups still have high asthma rates even though treatments have improved. Researchers found the following factors influenced asthma rates:

  • Lack of access to quality health care
  • Poor housing conditions with higher exposure to triggers
  • Environmental stress

These factors help researchers decide how to reduce differences in asthma rates in different populations.

As researchers continue to study asthma, they may adjust their focus to where the needs are greatest. When you participate in research, you can help direct their focus by letting them know about your personal experiences with asthma. 

Participate in the PAPER Project to Shape the Future of Asthma Research.

Be a part of patient-centered research to shape research and treatments that can impact the lives of millions of Americans with asthma. Participating is simple. Watch our collection of 11 short videos on understanding asthma and asthma research. Then take short surveys after each one to give us your feedback.

Together, we can influence the future of research and treatment for better quality of life for those with asthma!


This project is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), contract #2207-AAFA.

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