Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Asthma, a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways, causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing which often occurs at night or early in the morning.
EverydayHealth.com said that some women develop asthma after menopause, but it's not clear whether this is directly caused by the decrease in estrogen levels that accompanies menopause or by other factors such as aging, other health conditions or medications.
A new study found that women with asthma who are in their 40s and 50s are hospitalized more than twice as often as men in the same age group, reported Science Daily.
"Until puberty, boys have higher rates of asthma than girls. 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," allergist and study author Dr. Robert Yao-wen Lin said in an American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology news release. This was reported by the Respiratory Health Association.
The study investigators used the National Inpatient Sample databases from 2000 through 2010 to compare the hospitalization rates of men and women for different decades of adult life, said WebMD.
The highest rate of difference was found in the fifth and six decade, stated Science Daily. Common coexisting conditions such as cigarette smoking and obesity were taken into account.
News-Medical Net said researchers found that of 3,063,045 adult asthma hospitalizations during the study period, 72.9 percent were among women. However, the ratio of female to male hospitalizations varied according to age group, with a “distinct peaking” in the fifth to sixth decades of life.