The study involved 1,041 children, aged 5 to 12 years
with mild to moderate persistent asthma. The participants were tested with
annual spirometry tests with methacholine to gauge the responsiveness of their
Over the years it was found that while girls required the
same dose of methacholine. Boys needed bigger ones indicating they may have
combated the disease.
"Our results point to intriguing potential
mechanisms to explain the gender differences in asthma incidence and severity.
Especially intriguing is that the differences in gender begin at the time of
transition into early puberty," said lead author Dr Kelan Tantisira.
The details appear in the American Journal of Respiratory
and Critical Care Medicine.