Women in north twice as likely to die from asthma attack than men
WOMEN in Northern Ireland are twice as likely to die from an asthma attack than men, analysis by a leading charity has found.
Asthma + Lung UK found that females are more likely to have asthma and need hospital treatment for it.
More than 100,000 women in the north have the lung condition
Although pollen, air pollution and dust are well-known asthma triggers, Asthma + Lung UK said fluctuations in female sex hormones can also cause asthma symptoms to flare-up or trigger asthma attacks.
The charity has highlighted the link between times of hormonal change (during puberty, periods, pregnancy and peri-menopause) and asthma symptoms.?
In childhood, asthma is more prevalent and severe in boys but this changes after puberty. Rates of admissions to hospital in Northern Ireland for asthma are similar by sex in the early teenage years.
But women aged between 20 and 49 are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital than men.
Over the past five years, over 70 per cent of asthma deaths have been women.
A total of 145 women have died from an asthma attack compared with 56 men.
The charity said the 'one-size-fits-all approach' to asthma treatment is failing. It said women continue to "draw the short straw" when it comes to research funding.
And it said that without investment into research looking into the sex-related differences in asthma, more lives will be cut short.???
Sarah Woolnough, chief executive of Asthma + Lung UK, said more research is badly needed.
"Gaps in our knowledge are failing women, leaving them struggling with debilitating asthma symptoms, stuck in a cycle of being in and out of hospital and in some cases, losing their lives," she said.
"By understanding the role of sex hormones in asthma, we could transform the lives of the three million women with the condition in the UK and the many millions of women with asthma across the world.
"We urgently need to see more investment in research in this area so we can find new treatments and better use existing treatments to help millions of women and save lives."
For more advice on how to reduce your risk of hormones triggering your asthma, visit www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/hormones/ ?