A new study says that women in their 40s and 50s with asthma are hospitalized more than twice as often as men in the same age group.
The 10-year study is published in the September issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
"Until puberty, boys have higher rates of asthma than girls," said Robert Yao-wen Lin, MD, allergist and lead study author. "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."
The National Impatient Sample databases for 2000-2010 were used to calculate the ratio of female to male hospitalization rates for different decades of adult life. The highest rate of difference was found in the fifth and six decade. Common coexisting conditions, such as cigarette smoking and obesity were taken into account.
"This study reinforces that asthma is a women's health issue," said John Oppenheimer, MD, ACAAI Fellow and associate editor of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. "There is a need for more prevention and early intervention to reduce asthma hospitalization in menopausal women and reduce healthcare costs."
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggests that women in their 40s and 50s with asthma make an appointment with their allergist and ask these questions:
- Do I need any change in my medications?
- What are the symptoms associated with the risk of a severe asthma attack during menopause?
- How do I keep my asthma in check and avoid needing emergency room or hospitalized treatment?
Everyone with allergies and asthma should be able to feel good, be active all day and sleep well at night. No one should accept less. For more information about allergy and asthma, and to locate an allergist in your area, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.
The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 5,700 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org.