The following is a summary of “Racial and ethnic differences in patients enrolled in the national bronchiectasis and nontuberculous mycobacteria research registry,” published in the February 2023 issue of Pulmonology by McShane, et al.

The impact of demographic and socioeconomic factors on healthcare outcomes is widely recognized. Bronchiectasis was originally described in a predominantly White population, where racial disparities could not be identified. To support the research on the condition, the U.S. Bronchiectasis Research Registry (BRR) was established, a centralized database of adult patients with bronchiectasis and/or NTM from 18 clinical institutions across the U.S. For a study, researchers sought to investigate the racial and ethnic distribution of patients enrolled in the BRR and assess any disparities in healthcare for this population.

At the time of the study, 3,600 patients with bronchiectasis and/or NTM were enrolled in the BRR, and 3,510 were included in the analysis. The majority of the population was non-Hispanic White (n = 3,143, 89.5%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (n = 149, 4.3%), Asian (n = 130, 3.7%), and non-Hispanic Black (n = 88, 2.5%) participants. Testing for cystic fibrosis, immunoglobulin deficiency, and mycobacteria did not differ between races, except for alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) deficiency, which was less frequently tested in non-Hispanic Black patients compared to other groups (P = 0.01). 

However, there was no significant difference in the proportion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Hemophilus influenzae across the four groups. The use of high-frequency chest wall oscillation, pulmonary rehabilitation services, and suppressive macrolide treatment did not differ significantly between the groups (P > 0.05).

Although there was a disproportionately high percentage of non-Hispanic White patients compared to non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic or Latino patients in the BRR, there was an overall similarity in the care delivered to BRR patients, regardless of their racial and ethnic background