Why Asthma More Likely in Females Continues to be an Enigma
Recent studies indicate that women are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma and show greater morbidity for the disease than men. However scientists have not been able to explain the physiologic mechanism behind these sex-related differences in asthma.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that causes attacks of coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness of the chest. There is no permanent cure for asthma. However the symptoms might improve over a period of time. Most people with asthma are able to lead a normal life with proper self-management and medical treatment.
Asthma being a common chronic disease with significant clinical impact worldwide, researchers wanted to establish the mechanism behind the sex-related disparities in asthma epidemiology and morbidity. After the study it was found that there was a striking sex-related difference in asthma.
Despite being given similar treatment, the findings demonstrate that asthmatic women lead a poorer quality of life and show increased utilization of healthcare facilities when compared to their male counterparts with similar baseline pulmonary function. To explain the sex-related disparity, scientists looked at various perspectives like the potential influences of the female sex hormones, altered perception of airflow obstruction, increased bronchial hyper-responsiveness and medication compliance and technique. But none of these explanations could fully prove the sex-related difference.
Scientists have expressed the need for further research in this area so that it could help provide education to patients and establish effective and individualized management strategies for all asthma patients.