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Women with asthma in their 40s and 50s are twice as likely to be hospitalized from the respiratory disorder, compared with men in the same age group. This is according to a study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Researchers from the New York Downtown Hospital analyzed data for asthmatic men and women from the National Inpatient Sample databases between 2000 and 2010.
The information was used to calculate the ratio of female to male hospitalization rates resulting from asthma throughout different age groups.
The researchers say the following factors were taken into consideration and adjusted:
Results of the analysis showed that the highest difference in hospitalizations was found for patients in their 40s and 50s, when women were shown to be at higher risk of hospitalization as a result of asthma, compared with men.
Robert Yao-wen Lin, allergist at the hospital and lead author of the study, explains:
"Until puberty, boys have higher rates of asthma than girls. Then, during the menopausal years, women's hospitalization rates are double those of men in the same age group. This could indicate that asthma may have distinct biological traits."
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more females die of asthma than males, and women account for almost 65% of all asthma-related deaths.
Previous studies have shown a link between women's hormones and increased risk or worsened symptoms of asthma. Researchers from Norway conducted a study last year, which suggested that women's asthma symptoms can worsen during menstrual cycles.
John Oppenheimer, fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) and associate editor of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, says this study reinforces that asthma is a women's health issue.
"There is a need for more prevention and early intervention to reduce asthma hospitalization in menopausal women and reduce healthcare costs," he adds.
The ACAAI suggests that women with asthma in their 40s and 50s should talk to an allergist to discuss whether any changes in medication are needed, what symptoms are associated with risk of severe asthma attack during menopause, and how to keep their asthma in check to avoid hospitalization.
Written by Honor Whiteman
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
Age dependent sex disproportion in US asthma hospitalization rates, 2000-2010, published online in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 5 August 2013.
Visit our Respiratory / Asthma category page for the latest news on this subject.
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