Inheritance and Genetics of Asthma
Racial Patterns for Asthma:
Racial Details for Asthma: Asthma affects slightly more African
Americans (5.8 percent) than Americans of European descent (5.1
percent). In 1993, however, blacks were 3 to 4 times more likely
than whites to be hospitalized for asthma. (Source: excerpt from Asthma A Concern for Minority Populations, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)
Asthma: Genetics Information
Genetics of Asthma:
Asthma is a what is known as a "complex" heritable disease. This means that there are a number of genes that contribute toward a person's susceptibility to a disease, and in the case of asthma, chromosomes 5, 6, 11, 14, and 12 have all been implicated. The relative roles of these genes in asthma predisposition are not clear, but one of the most promising sites for investigation is on chromosome 5. Although a gene for asthma from this site has not yet been specifically identified, it is known that this region is rich in genes coding for key molecules in the inflammatory response seen in asthma, including cytokines, growth factors, and growth factor receptors.
(Source: Genes and Disease by the National Center for Biotechnology)
About inheritance and genetics:
Inheritance of Asthma refers to whether the condition is inherited
from your parents or "runs" in families.
The level of inheritance of a condition depends
on how important genetics are to the disease.
Strongly genetic diseases are usually inherited,
partially genetic diseases are sometimes inherited,
and non-genetic diseases are not inherited.
For general information, see Introduction to Genetics.
» Next page: Treatments for Asthma
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