Boys more likely to outgrow asthma than girls
Saturday 16th August, 2008
Recent research has suggested that boys are more likely to grow out of childhood asthma as they enter their teenage years than girls.
The study of over 1,000 children highlights a previously undiscovered mechanism that is behind the development of asthma.
Experts at the Harvard Medical School tested lung function in the children over an average of nine years. They found that while boys were more likely to wheeze in childhood, they were also more likely to lose these asthma symptoms once they entered their teenage years.
The children were tested annually and given a drug to narrow the airways. The amount of the drug needed by the girls did not alter over time but larger doses were needed in the boys which suggests that their asthma severity decreased.
Asthma UK suggested that sex hormones may play a role in the symptoms and severity of asthma.
“We know that asthma prevalence is higher among boys than girls but that the condition, later in life, is more prevalent in women than men,” said Leanne Male, from Asthma UK.
“Hormones can play a key role in influencing asthma symptoms and severity, suggesting that gender is an important factor in asthma development.”