women are more likely to die from the disease than men

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[EN VIDÉO] Asthma attacks increase during thunderstorms in the elderly
This video retraces the link, not necessarily obvious, which exists between asthma attacks and stormy weather. Indeed, American scientists show that a few days before a storm, more people go to the emergency room for a respiratory problem.

Pollen, allergies respiratory activity physique or atmospheric pollution are well-known triggers for asthma attacks, but there would be another much less studied by scientists: female sex hormones. A report from the English association Asthma + Lung UK indicates that women aged 29 to 40 are 2.5 times more likely to be admitted to hospital with an asthma attack than men.

Asthma affects more women in adulthood

During childhood, boys are more likely to do asthmabut the puberty reverse the balance. at theadolescence and in adulthood, women with asthma outnumber men. The phenomenon is very clear when observing the incidence of adult asthma according to gender: 5.9 cases per 1,000 person-years in women against 4.4 cases per 1,000 person-years in men according to the latest study on the subject which dates back to 2005. Some asthma experts believe that female sex hormones are involved in asthma attacks and in their gravity in women. Although many studies have been conducted on the subject, the results remain partial and the underlying mechanisms poorly understood. Socio-economic factors, environmental or biological other than hormones could also be involved.

Patients with asthma see differences in the severity of their symptoms depending on the time of menstrual cycle. Poppy Hadkinson, a 30-year-old Englishwoman, testifies for the association Asthma + Lung UK : « There seemed to be a pattern in my symptoms, related to my menstrual cycle. Almost every month before my rules, I suffered from asthma. My symptoms were making it difficult to breathe, which was terrifying, and I often ended up in the hospital. The asthma attacks I suffered were so severe that I had been ventilated four times when I was 22 and wondered if I would make it until my next birthday ».

Hormone-related asthma

The testimonies have no scientific value, but suggest the existence of a phenomenon that science does not yet understand. According to a study published in 2022 in Journal of Asthma and Allergy, Asthma symptoms can vary throughout a woman’s life, from puberty to menopauseduring the menstrual cycle and the pregnancy. Hormone treatments also affect them. The pill seems to limit the appearance of new crises, whereas the replacement hormones prescribed after the menopause favor them. Many associations, but no clear causal link.

More than two-thirds of asthma deaths were in women

« By understanding the role of sex hormones in asthma, we could transform the lives of three million women with the disease in the UK and many millions more across the world. We urgently need to invest more in research in this area so that we can finding new treatments and make better use of existing treatments to help millions of women and save lives “says Sarah Woolnough, President ofAsthma + Lung UK.

The question is all the more important since adult asthma differs greatly from childhood asthma. More severe and chronic, the prognosis of the disease is worse and the chances of remissions lower in adults. Most women show the symptoms of adult asthma, but in some men, the asthma remains infantile and therefore less severe. With a more complex etiology and more severe disease, women are more likely to die from asthma than men.

The figures ofAsthma + Lung UK indicate that more than two-thirds of asthma deaths were in women — 5,100 women compared to about 2,300 men. The association advises asthmatics, both men and women, to follow their treatment according to the recommendations of doctors and to have a check-up every year to better prevent crises.

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