Disparities in asthma outcomes in the Chicago area have been observed between geographic areas and ethnic and socioeconomic groups. As efforts to close this gap have moved beyond the initial characterization of the problem to implementation of concrete programs to address these disparities, objective measures of success are essential. We present a variety of data from the Chicago area to assess whether any improvement in previously reported disparities can be demonstrated. While some process outcomes such as medication usage have improved over time, death from asthma has failed to demonstrate an equivalent improvement. More importantly, the differential in asthma mortality and hospitalization rates between African Americans and European Americans has failed to close in the years following the release of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program asthma guidelines.