Carla M. Davis, et al.
J Allergy Clin Immunol . 2021 Mar 10;S0091-6749(21)00365-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2021.02.034. Online ahead of print.
Health disparities negatively impact groups with greater social or economic obstacles in health based on race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, and/or geographic location. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology participated in a Commission to End Health Disparities 10 years ago. This study describes health disparities in allergy/immunology in racial and ethnic underserved populations and how they address people with allergic rhinitis and other allergic conditions.
Certain racial and ethnic populations are frequently not included in guidelines of care for patients with allergic rhinitis. Racial minorities show less allergic rhinitis prevalence, probable due to variability in self-reporting the disease: a 2017 report revealed that 5% of black children and 5% of Hispanic children had allergic rhinitis, compared to 9% of white children.
It is known that allergic rhinitis significantly impacts the quality of life and morbidity in underserved populations, and allergic rhinitis control was associated with fewer school absences.
Studies have shown that low-income and minority groups are less likely to receive allergen immunotherapy and have highlighted that additional burdens faced by these minorities can contribute to fewer resources needed to adhere to AIT schedules.
In conclusion, adherence could be improved when medical resources are provided to increase specialty care access in underserved communities. Observational and interventional studies are important for allergic rhinitis diagnosis, management, and outcomes for these underserved populations. A multi-level approach should also be addressed, involving patients, health providers, local agencies, professional societies, and national governmental agencies.