Vink N.M., Postma D.S., Schouten J.P., Rosmalen J.G.M., Boezen H.M. (2010)
Gender differences in asthma development and remission during transition through puberty: The Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS) study. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;126:498-504.
Asthma is more prevalent in boys than girls during childhood, while it is more prevalent in women than men during adulthood. The reason for this shift in athma prevalence is unknow, but since it occurs during puberty, hormonal changes have been thought to underly this phenomenon. So far no prospective studies have been performed on whether this gender shift in asthma prevalence during puberty runs parallel with pubertal stages. We assessed associations of pubertal stages and transition through puberty with the prevalence, incidence, and remission of asthma in male and female subjects. Next, we assessed associations of pubertal stages with asthma-related phenotypes (total IgE levels and peak expiratory flow (PEF) fall during a shuttle run test (SRT)). We found no differences in asthma prevalence between boys and girls at ages 11 and 14 years, whereas at 16 years of age, more females than males had asthma (6.2% and 4.3% respectively). This higher asthma prevalence at age 16 years was related to a higher asthma incidence and lower asthma remission in females compared to males during this time of follow-up. This study did not show an association between parental reported pubertal stages and asthma prevalence. Additionally, pubertal stages were not associated with asthma–related phenotypes (total IgE, PEF fall during shuttle run test). We found that pubertal stages could not be proven to explain the gender shift in asthma prevalence.
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