The Communities Most Affected by Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a major health crisis in the US and around the world. Its prevalence has surged in recent years, with estimates indicating over half a billion people living with it globally. According to IDF Diabetes Atlas, about 537 million adults have diabetes worldwide, and approximately 90-95% of these cases are Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can affect anyone, however some populations are especially vulnerable.

Epidemiology of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition characterized by increased blood sugar (glucose) levels. It happens when the body either does not produce enough insulin, a hormone needed to convert blood glucose into energy, or doesn't use it effectively. As a result, one may experience increased thirst, unexplained weight loss, frequent urination, fatigue, and blurred vision. However, some individuals may not experience noticeable symptoms, and the condition can go undiagnosed for a long time.

Disparities in Type 2 Diabetes Prevalence

While Type 2 diabetes affects people from all walks of life, its prevalence and severity vary significantly across different populations. Decades of research have shown that diabetes, particularly T2D disproportionately affects certain ethnic/racial groups. Recent NHIS statistics on diabetes incidence rates in US adults found that African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Hawaiians, American Indians, Arab Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Asian Americans had the highest rates of diabetes.

Why These Communities Are Disproportionately Affected By Type 2 Diabetes

This disparity is not simply a matter of chance but rather the result of a complex interplay of genetics, socio-economic factors, access to healthcare, and cultural differences.

Access to healthcare

Disparities in access to healthcare services represent a significant barrier to diabetes prevention and management. People with lower socio-economic status may face challenges in obtaining regular check-ups, diabetes screenings, and essential medical care. They also miss out on clinical trials. According to Science 37 surveys, a large portion of people from these communities would like an opportunity to participate. Still, they are often not asked, overlooked, or unable to access because of geographical barriers.

Lack of health insurance, transportation issues, and geographic disparities in healthcare infrastructure all contribute to delayed diagnosis and inadequate management of diabetes. This results in cases that may have been preventable or treatable with timely and consistent healthcare access.

Genetic Predisposition

Studies have pinpointed genetic variations that elevate the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes within populations of African, Hispanic, or Asian ancestry. This doesn't mean that individuals from these communities are destined to develop diabetes, but rather, they may inherit genetic factors that make them more susceptible to such hereditary diseases.

Insulin resistance, a key feature of T2D, is influenced by these genetic variations. It occurs when the cells in the body fail to respond adequately to insulin, causing a rise in blood sugar levels. The genes associated with beta-cell function and glucose metabolism also affect how the body regulates blood sugar.

When particular genes associated with insulin resistance and glucose metabolism are more prevalent in specific ethnic groups, it creates a genetic landscape that contributes to a higher susceptibility to Type 2 Diabetes within those communities.


People from some of these communities also have a genetic tendency to accumulate visceral fat in the abdominal region, known as abdominal obesity. Visceral fat releases substances that can interfere with insulin action and glucose metabolism. This disruption sets the stage for insulin resistance, an essential precursor to Type 2 Diabetes.

Beyond genetic influences, lifestyle factors like inappropriate nutrition and inactivity can increase the risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Traditional dietary practices, beliefs about health and illness, and mistrust of the healthcare system can influence diabetes management and healthcare utilization.

Socio-economic Status

Lower levels of education within specific communities are associated with reduced health literacy, contributing to a higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Limited health literacy can manifest in challenges comprehending the importance of a balanced diet, recognizing risk factors, and understanding the significance of regular exercise.

Food insecurity, poverty, and lack of access to healthy food options and safe spaces for exercise contribute to unhealthy lifestyle choices and increased risk of diabetes. Insufficient health insurance coverage, language barriers, and cultural differences can also create barriers to accessing preventive care, early diagnosis, and effective management.

Combating Disparities in Type 2 Diabetes - Interventions and Community Health Programs

Ethnic/racial minorities suffer disproportionately from type 2 diabetes and related health problems, including higher rates of morbidity and mortality. This complex issue demands a multifaceted approach to address individual and systemic factors contributing to the disparity. Here, we explore effective health interventions and community programs that can help bridge the gap and create a healthier future for all.

Improving Access to Healthcare

This includes advocating for policies that facilitate healthcare affordability for low-income communities and underserved populations, particularly those disproportionately affected by Type 2 diabetes. Such policies should address language barriers, increase cultural competency among healthcare providers, and ensure culturally relevant care practices. There's also a need to establish primary care clinics in underserved communities, provide transportation assistance, and expand access to telehealth services.

Empowering Individuals through Education

Community education levels can impact health literacy and awareness of diabetes risk factors. Lower levels of education may correlate with limited knowledge about healthy lifestyles and preventive measures. Tailored educational programs that consider cultural nuances can bridge this gap, and empower communities toward making informed health choices.

Building Stronger, More Equitable Communities

Building more robust, more equitable communities tackles the systemic roots of health disparities. This means addressing underlying issues like poverty, food insecurity, and lack of access to quality education and healthcare. It involves promoting economic development, creating inclusive environments that celebrate diversity and combat discrimination, and empowering communities through leadership development and collective action. Such efforts, coupled with improved access to healthcare and education, will contribute to a healthier future for all.

Science 37 Contribution

Science 37 prioritizes diversity in clinical trials, ensuring that research includes participants from various ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds and improves the generalizability of findings. We leverage digital health platforms to allow any interested party to participate in clinical trials without geographical constraints. We also engage in community-centric research practices to ensure that the goals, methods, and outcomes of studies align with the needs and priorities of the communities involved. This approach fosters trust and collaboration.

The Journey Through the HCU Clinical Study Experience

Imagine a scenario where your unique experience with a condition like classical homocystinuria (HCU) could pave the way for groundbreaking medical advancements. For those living with HCU, understanding and managing this condition is a daily reality. However, there's now an empowering opportunity to contribute to the broader narrative of HCU treatment and research. Science 37, a pioneer in decentralized clinical studies, is inviting individuals diagnosed with HCU to participate in new trailblazing studies. This initiative isn't just a chance to be part of cutting-edge research; it's a doorway to making a tangible impact on the future of HCU treatment and care.

Understanding Science 37 and Their Approach to HCU Research

Science 37 stands at the forefront of a revolutionary approach in medical research. By breaking down traditional barriers of clinical studies, they're bringing research opportunities directly to participants' doorsteps. For those living with HCU, this means a chance to be part of studies that understand and address your unique needs.

In the world of classical HCU, Science 37 and their research partners are spearheading research that is as groundbreaking as it is essential. Science 37’s participant experience is not confined to the walls of a doctor’s office or hospital. Instead, they come to you, allowing you to participate from the comfort of your home. This innovative approach is not just about convenience; it's about putting participants first, making clinical research accessible to those who are often left out due to geographical or physical limitations.

The Convenience of Participating from Home

Participation in clinical research typically conjures images of frequent hospital visits, disruptive schedules, and the stress of the unknown. Science 37 turns this notion on its head. Their decentralized approach to HCU studies means you can participate from where you feel most comfortable - your home.

This method is especially beneficial for those with HCU, as it respects the unique challenges you may face daily. Whether it’s managing your diet, attending regular doctor appointments, or dealing with the physical symptoms of HCU, these studies are designed to seamlessly integrate into your life, not disrupt it. This remote/virtual participation model not only respects your time and comfort but also breaks down the barriers that often prevent people from contributing to important research like this.

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Making a Difference in HCU Research

Your participation in HCU studies goes beyond personal benefit. It’s a chance to contribute to a larger cause – the advancement of medical knowledge and treatment options for HCU. Each participant brings a unique perspective and set of experiences that are invaluable to researchers.

Consider the power of your contribution: You’re not just helping to advance scientific understanding of classical HCU, but you’re also paving the way for future generations who may face this condition. The data and insights gathered from your participation could lead to breakthroughs in treatment and better management of HCU, changing lives for the better.

Benefits of Participating: Compensation and Beyond

Joining clinical research studies in most cases, comes with tangible benefits. First and foremost, participants may be compensated for their time and effort.

You may also gain access to the latest information and research on HCU. This means staying at the forefront of new treatments, management strategies, and overall understanding of your condition. Furthermore, being part of these studies may connect you with a community of individuals who share your experiences and challenges.

Ensuring Your Safety and Privacy

Safety and privacy are paramount in any clinical study, and Science 37 is deeply committed to these principles. Throughout these studies, your well-being is the top priority, with all procedures and treatments adhering to the highest ethical standards and safety regulations. Moreover, your personal data and medical information are safeguarded with strict confidentiality measures.

It's also important to note that your primary healthcare provider can be involved in the process. This ensures that your participation in these studies is aligned with your overall health plan and managed with full transparency.

How to Get Involved

If you're over 18 and diagnosed with classical HCU, getting involved in Science 37 studies is straightforward. Begin by filling out a prescreen questionnaire on their website. This will help determine if you're a good fit for the studies that are enrolling and provide more information about what participation involves. Please note: If you are a guardian of a minor with classical HCU, you can also sign your child up using this same path as we know this is a genetic condition and will run within families.

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Want To Know More?

Participating in classical HCU studies where Science 37 is enrolling is more than just being part of research; it's about being at the forefront of a movement that values patient experiences and seeks to make significant strides in medical science. Your involvement could help shape the future of classical HCU treatment and provide invaluable insights that benefit others with the condition. It's a unique opportunity to contribute to science, receive compensation, and be part of a supportive community, all while prioritizing your safety and privacy.

Consider this opportunity not just as a participant in a study, but as a pioneer in a journey that holds the promise of transforming the landscape of HCU research and treatment. Your voice, your experience, and your participation matter.

Unraveling the Mysteries of Heart & Lung Diseases

Heart and lung diseases are among the leading causes of mortality worldwide, claiming millions of lives each year. According to the World Health Organization, ischemic heart disease, stroke, and COPD accounted for 16%, 11%, and 6% of all global deaths in 2019, respectively. Interestingly, people who develop lung diseases like COPD, lung fibrosis, and asthma may face a higher-than-average risk of cardiovascular diseases.

A study with 1200 participants found that people with late-onset asthma had a 57% greater chance of suffering a heart-related issue than those without asthma. Similarly, those with heart issues have an increased risk of lung diseases.

Cardiovascular (Heart) Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases encompass a range of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. These conditions can have serious and sometimes life-threatening consequences and include:

    •    Coronary artery disease, which involves the narrowing of the blood vessels supplying the heart

    •    Heart failure, where the heart cannot effectively pump blood

    •    Arrhythmias, which are irregular heart rhythms

    •    Heart valve problems

Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and a family history of heart disease.

Respiratory (Lung) Diseases

Respiratory diseases are a group of conditions that affect the respiratory system, primarily the lungs and airways. They can range from mild, short-term illnesses like the common cold to chronic and severe conditions such as:

    •    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a progressive lung condition that causes breathing difficulties due to narrowed airways and damaged lung tissue.

    •    Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition characterized by airway inflammation and recurrent episodes of wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.

    •    Lung cancer, a malignant tumor that originates in the lungs, is often associated with a history of smoking

    •    Pulmonary fibrosis, where lung tissue becomes thickened and scarred, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly

Disease origins include smoking, exposure to environmental pollutants, genetic predisposition, and infections.

The Synergy between Heart and Lung Health

The heart and lungs work as a team to ensure the body receives oxygen and nutrients while removing waste products. This cooperation is vital for sustaining life. Any disruption in either system can have significant consequences for the other.

How Both Systems Work Together

The heart is a muscular pump that circulates blood throughout the body. When you breathe, your lungs take in oxygen from the air and pass it into the blood. The heart then pumps this oxygen-rich blood to your body's cells. As your cells use the oxygen for energy, they produce waste in the form of carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide is carried by the blood back to the heart, which then sends it to the lungs.

In the lungs, oxygen from the air gets into the blood, and the carbon dioxide is expelled when you breathe out. This continuous cycle of the heart and lungs working together keeps your body supplied with oxygen and helps get rid of waste, keeping you healthy and alive. It takes about 16 seconds for blood to travel around the body. And when everything works as it should, you’re considered in good cardiopulmonary health.

Common “Relationship” Issues

The cardiovascular and respiratory systems are closely intertwined, and their health is interdependent. When there are problems in one system, it can lead to complications or failures in the other.

For instance, lung issues can lead to heart problems and vice versa. Conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or severe asthma can cause chronic inflammation and reduced lung function. This strains the heart, making it work harder to pump blood and oxygen to the rest of the body. Over time, this added strain can lead to heart conditions, including high blood pressure, heart failure, and even heart attacks.

On the other hand, heart problems can also lead to lung issues. Heart failure, for example, can result in fluid accumulating in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. The heart's compromised ability to pump effectively can affect the delivery of oxygen to the body, further complicating matters. These reciprocal relationships underscore the importance of addressing and managing both systems when health issues arise to ensure overall well-being.

Symptoms of Cardiopulmonary Problems

Cardiopulmonary problems, which affect both the heart and lungs, can manifest with a range of symptoms. These symptoms often overlap and may include:

    •    Shortness of breath (Dyspnea)

    •    Chest pain or discomfort

    •    Cough

    •    Wheezing

    •    Fatigue

    •    Swelling (edema)

    •    Rapid or irregular heartbeat (Arrhythmia)

    •    Cyanosis

    •    Sputum production

    •    Dizziness or fainting

The Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of cardiopulmonary problems is paramount for several reasons.

    •    It can save lives. Many heart and lung conditions, if diagnosed in their early stages, can be managed more effectively, slowing down their progression and preventing severe complications. Timely intervention can also lead to improved quality of life for individuals living with these conditions.

    •    It reduces healthcare costs by preventing the need for more extensive and costly treatments that become necessary when conditions have advanced. It also eases the burden on patients and their families, who may experience less stress and anxiety when potential problems are identified and addressed promptly.

    •    It empowers individuals to take control of their health through lifestyle changes, medication, or other interventions. Routine check-ups and awareness of risk factors can help identify issues before they become critical.

Science 37's Research Contributions

Science 37 is at the forefront of medical research, conducting extensive studies to unravel the mysteries of heart and lung diseases. Their dedication to clinical trials and patient participation has helped companies and individuals gain valuable insights into pulmonary function testing, sites for cardiovascular trial, and so on.

In one trial, Science 37 found that trials can be done in patient’s homes, extending access to clinical research for patients with respiratory disorders. In another trial, Science 37 partnered with a sponsor to adopt a decentralized clinical trial arm that provides a virtual option for patients. This trial helped the sponsor achieve their goal of expansive patient reach while analyzing the effectiveness of the investigational drug.

 The Future of Research in Cardiopulmonary Health

The future of research in the field of cardiopulmonary health holds great promise. Advances in medical science, genomics, and personalized medicine are opening new avenues for more precise diagnostics and treatments. Researchers are exploring innovative therapies, including regenerative medicine, gene editing, and immunotherapies, which have the potential to transform the way we manage heart and lung diseases.

Moreover, the integration of digital and wearable technology and artificial intelligence is enhancing early detection and remote monitoring. These treatment advancements allow healthcare providers to track patients' conditions more closely and make timely interventions.

Patient empowerment and advocacy are also driving progress, as individuals become more informed and proactive in managing their health. They participate in research studies, share their recovery stories and experiences, and contribute to the development of patient-centered approaches to care.

From Diabetes to Depression: How Exercise Acts as a Natural Remedy

Regular physical activity is one of the most critical things you can do for your health. Exercising has been shown to improve your fitness, lower the risk of disease, boost mental well-being, strengthen muscles and bones, and improve your quality of life. Only a few lifestyle choices have as large an impact on your health as physical activity.

Being More Active is Better for You

15 longitudinal studies with 5 or more years of follow-up and a total of 288,724 participants aged between 18 and 85 years showed that physical activity has a positive long-term influence on chronic conditions like diabetes, depression, dementia, and coronary disease. Multiple other research findings also confirm that there’s irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of regular exercise in the primary and secondary prevention of these diseases.

Exercise offers a wide range of health benefits, both physical and mental. It may even help you live longer. Here’s why physical fitness is beneficial to your holistic health:

    •    Improves your mood and reduces feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression

    •    Supports a healthy metabolism and helps maintain muscle mass and weight loss

    •    Helps you build strong bones and muscles and may also help prevent osteoporosis

    •    Makes your immune system function better, helping in disease prevention

    •    Increases your energy levels

    •    Improves blood flow to the brain, and helps with memory and brain health

    •    Promotes blood flow can protect your skin and delay signs of aging

    •    Improves sleep

    •    Can reduce pain or increase pain tolerance

    •    Promotes better sex life

How Exercise Acts as a Natural Remedy for a Range of Conditions

Exercise can act as a natural remedy for various chronic diseases as shown below:

Improves Mental Health

Exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health, including depression. It triggers the release of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters and reduces stress hormones like cortisol. Regular exercise can also improve self-esteem, body image, and promote better sleep, all of which play a key role in enhancing mental health.

Engaging in physical activity provides a sense of accomplishment and routine, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals with depression. A new study encompassing 128,119 participants, 1039 trials, and 97 reviews, found that exercise is 1.5 more effective than medicine and counseling to manage depression, anxiety, and distress.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Exercise also plays an important part in the management and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that physical activity promotes better blood glucose control and weight loss, both of which are huge risk factors for diabetes. Exercise counters the effects of type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity, making it easier for cells to use glucose from blood. Also, when the muscles contract during physical activity, the cells can absorb glucose and use it for energy irrespective of whether there’s insulin or not.The effect exercise has on blood glucose varies based on factors like the duration of activeness. However, according to, exercise can reduce blood glucose for up to 24 hours after working out. This means that physical activity reduces the need for insulin or other diabetes medications. It also helps control body weight, which is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Weight Gain

Exercise can aid in weight management by burning calories and increasing metabolic rate. It helps reduce excess body fat and build lean muscle mass. Additionally, exercise can regulate appetite hormones, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Combining exercise with a balanced diet is an effective strategy for preventing and addressing weight gain and obesity.

Alzheimer's Disease

While there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, exercise may help delay its onset or slow its progression. Regular physical activity improves blood flow to the brain, reduces inflammation, and enhances the growth of new brain cells and connections. It also enhances cognitive function, and memory, and may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Aerobic exercise, in particular, has been associated with brain health benefits.

Practical Advice for Incorporating Regular Physical Activity

Incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine often necessitates lifestyle changes. Here’s a guide to help you make these changes and develop a sustainable exercise routine:

Set Clear Goals

Start by setting achievable fitness goals that align with your current fitness level and lifestyle. These goals should be specific, measurable, and time-bound. For example, aim to walk for 30 minutes every day or complete a certain number of push-ups by the end of the month.

Create a Consistent Workout Schedule

To ensure regular physical activity, establish a workout routine that you can stick to. Consistency is key. Whether it's in the morning, during lunch breaks, or in the evening, find a time that fits your daily schedule and commit to it.

Identify and Overcome Barriers

Take some time to identify the barriers that may prevent you from exercising regularly. These could be a lack of time, motivation, or access to suitable facilities. Once you've identified these obstacles, work on strategies to overcome them. For instance, if time is a challenge, consider shorter, more frequent workouts.

Choose Activities You Enjoy

Make sure to select exercises or activities you genuinely enjoy. If you find your workouts fun, you're more likely to stick with them. This could be anything from dancing and swimming to hiking or playing a sport. Experiment until you find what suits you best.

Make It a Social Activity

Exercise with friends, family, or in a group setting. This can make workouts more enjoyable and provide a support system to keep you motivated.

Track Your Progress

Keep a workout journal or use fitness apps and devices to monitor your progress. Tracking your activities and seeing your improvements can boost motivation.

Consult a Professional

If you're new to exercise or have specific health concerns, it's wise to consult a fitness professional or a healthcare provider. They can offer guidance on the best exercise approach for your needs and ensure you're exercising safely.

Physical activity provides lots of benefits that can improve almost all aspects of your health. And it does not have to be anything extreme. If you aim for 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity or 150 – 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or an equivalent combination of the two in a week, you’ll meet the DOH physical activity guidelines.

Moderate-intensity exercise is anything that increases your heart rate and breathing, like brisk walking, swimming, hiking, dancing, and gardening. Activities like cycling, jumping rope, running, aerobic dance, HIIT, boxing, hiking uphill and competitive sports count for vigorous intensity.

Add at least 2 days of muscle-strengthening workouts involving major muscles like the chest, back, legs, shoulders, abdomen, and arms, and you will be way above average. You can use your body weight, resistance bands, and weights for muscle-strengthening workouts. These include chest presses, shoulder presses, planks, push-ups, and squats.

Exercise plays a big part in helping with different conditions. However, it's essential to underscore that while exercise can be highly beneficial, it should not replace professional medical or psychological care when necessary. You can also take part in clinical trials to help change the treatment paradigm. Science 37 offers a wide range of clinical trials and is currently enrolling people.

Asthma Demystified: From Causes to Those Most at Risk

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects your breathing. It happens when your airways, the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs, become swollen and narrow. This makes it harder to breathe and may lead to coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

There’s currently no cure for asthma, but treatment can control the symptoms. This means you can live a normal, active life despite having breathing issues. Asthma affects more than 27 million people in America, including 4.5 million children. It accounts for millions of emergency room visits and tens of billions in healthcare costs annually.

What Does Asthma Feel Like?

To understand lung difficulties, it is necessary to understand the normal breathing process. In a typical breathing cycle, air enters your body through your nose or mouth and travels down your throat. It proceeds into your airways and eventually reaches your lungs. Within your lungs, numerous small air passages help transport oxygen from the inhaled air into your bloodstream.

However, when asthma sets in, the usual flow of air is disrupted. The lining of your airways becomes inflamed, and the muscles around them tighten. Mucus then fills the airways, further reducing the space available for air to pass through.

These combined conditions - muscle tightening, mucus production, and inflammation – can trigger asthma "attack," characterized by the hallmark symptoms of asthma, including shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.

What Are the Symptoms of Asthma?

Asthma symptoms vary from one person to the other. Some people have symptoms all the time, others only at specific times, like during exercise, and so on. Symptoms include:

    •    Shortness of breath

    •    Coughing, especially at night or early morning

    •    Wheezing

    •    Chest pain or tightness

People may also experience:

    •    Rapid breathing

    •    Trouble sleeping

    •    Panic or anxiousness

    •    Difficulty talking

    •    Fatigue

Asthmatic symptoms range from mild to severe and can happen daily or once in a while. The symptoms tend to worsen during an asthma attack and may come gradually or suddenly. Seek treatment if you experience the following symptoms of an asthma emergency:

    •    Confusion

    •    Dizziness

    •    Severe breathing difficulty

    •    Pale/blue fingernails or lips

    •    Gasping for air

    •    Difficulty talking or walking

Asthma Causes, Triggers, and Risk Factors

While the exact cause of these breathing difficulties is not fully understood, researchers have identified various elements that play a role in its development.

Genetics and Family History

Genetic predisposition is a significant factor in the development of asthma. If you have a family history of asthma, particularly if a parent or sibling has the condition, you are 3 - 6 times more likely to develop asthma than someone who doesn’t have a parent with asthma.

Viral Respiratory Infections

Viral respiratory infections, particularly in early childhood, can increase the risk of developing asthma. People with a history of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or rhinovirus are at a higher risk of developing the condition.

Environmental Factors and Triggers

Environmental factors and exposure to various triggers can contribute to the development and exacerbation of asthma. Common triggers include:

    •    Allergens

    •    Air pollution

    •    Tobacco smoke

    •    Respiratory irritants

    •    Pests

    •    Intense emotions

    •    Environmental irritants

    •    Extreme weather conditions

    •    Certain medications, including NSAIDs

Occupational Exposures

Certain work environments, where individuals are exposed to irritants or allergens, can increase the likelihood of occupational asthma.


People who are obese or overweight are at a greater risk of asthma. While scientists are still trying to establish the connection, some evidence shows that extra weight can lead to low-grade inflammation and changes in lung function.

Who is at Risk for Asthma?

Asthma affects people of all ages, but the most vulnerable populations include those who:

    •    Smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke

    •    Are overweight

    •    Have another allergic condition like hay fever or atopic dermatitis

    •    Have a blood relative with asthma

    •    Are exposed to pollution or chemicals used in manufacturing, hairdressing, or farming

Types of Asthma

There are many different types of asthma with different causes and triggers. Some common ones are:

    •    Allergic asthma (extrinsic asthma) is triggered by exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, or cockroach droppings. This is the most common type of asthma.

    •    Non-allergic asthma (intrinsic asthma) is caused by factors like respiratory infections, cold air, exercise, smoke, strong odors, or stress.

    •    Occupational asthma happens due to exposure to irritants or allergens in the workplace. It can be triggered by substances like industrial chemicals, dust, fumes, or gases.

    •    Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) often occurs during or after strenuous exercise and can affect both athletes and non-athletes.

    •    Childhood asthma develops in childhood and persists into adulthood and is often referred to as childhood-onset asthma. It may be allergic or non-allergic and can improve or worsen over time.

    •    Adult-onset asthma develops in adulthood, often in people who did not have asthma as children. It can have various triggers and causes, including respiratory infections, hormonal changes, or environmental exposures.

    •    Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) is triggered by the ingestion of aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is often associated with nasal polyps and chronic sinusitis.

    •    Cough-variant asthma is characterized by chronic cough without the typical wheezing or shortness of breath seen in other asthma types.

    •    Seasonal asthma happens when one experiences symptoms primarily during specific seasons when allergens like pollen are at their highest levels.

    •    Brittle asthma is a severe form of asthma characterized by unpredictable and sudden severe exacerbations. It can be challenging to manage and often requires intensive medical care.

How to Manage Your Asthma

Although you can’t prevent asthma, your doctor can offer a plan to help you live with the condition and prevent asthma attacks. This may include:

    •    Strategies to avoid triggers: Identify and minimize exposure to asthma triggers. For example, if you have allergic asthma, take proactive steps to reduce exposure to dust mites, pollen, pet dander, etc. And if you have occupational asthma, you should use protective equipment to minimize exposure to workplace irritants.

    •    Quick-Relief Medicines: These medicines are used as needed when you experience sudden asthma symptoms like wheezing or shortness of breath. They relax the muscles around the airways, opening them up and making it easier to breathe.

    •    Maintenance medications: These are used daily to manage and prevent asthma symptoms. They work to reduce airway inflammation and keep the airways open.

    •    Lead a Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise, as obesity is linked to increased asthma risk.

We have made significant progress in understanding and managing this chronic condition. But there is still much to learn. More research is needed to uncover the underlying causes, improve treatment options, and enhance the quality of life for those living with asthma.

As part of these efforts, Science 37 is currently enrolling individuals for asthma clinical trials. Volunteers with asthma are needed to help test an investigational budesonide/albuterol combo inhaler which offers relief for asthma symptoms while also treating underlying inflammation.

Your participation in research like this is an opportunity to benefit from the latest advancements in symptom management and a chance to be part of a larger mission to advance our understanding of the condition. And the best part is you get to do it from the comfort of your own home.