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Ethnic minorities may be missing out on the best quality

care for asthma, a new study suggests.

Researchers found south Asians were three times more likely than whites to be hospitalised with asthma, even though their overall asthma prevalence was lower.

Black patients were twice as likely as whites to be hospitalised, according to the study, published in the Lancet this week.

Study leader Professor Aziz Sheikh, professor of primary care research and development at the University of Edinburgh, suggested the results could be related to poorer quality of GP care and different health-seeking behaviour. He said GPs needed to focus on improving their relationships with ethnic minority patients.

Professor Sheikh, a former GP with an interest in respiratory medicine, added: 'There may be underdiagnosed asthma, less self-management, less steroids, less preventive therapy and also less shared decision making for minority ethnic populations.'

The research systematically reviewed 13 studies on ethnicity and asthma care.

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