Sex influences on lung function and medication in childhood asthma
Article first published online: 29 MAR 2007
Volume 95, Issue 10, pages 1191–1196, October 2006
How to Cite
Hallberg, J., Anderson, M., Wickman, M. and Svartengren, M. (2006), Sex influences on lung function and medication in childhood asthma. Acta Paediatrica, 95: 1191–1196. doi: 10.1080/08035250600584794
- Issue published online: 29 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 29 MAR 2007
- (Received 7 September 2005; revised 23 December 2005; accepted 19 January 2006)
- Asthma drugs;
- childhood asthma;
- lung function;
- sex differences
Aim: To evaluate possible sex differences in prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of asthma, and influence on lung function associated with asthma severity in a population-based birth cohort (BAMSE) of 4089 children. Methods: At 4-y follow-up, 92% responded to a questionnaire on symptoms of asthma, current medication and doctor's diagnosis of asthma. A total of 2965 children participated in clinical testing, including measurements of peak expiratory flow (PEF), and were assigned to groups of asthma or no asthma by reported airway symptoms. Results: Children in asthma groups had lower PEF readings compared to healthy children. This effect was most pronounced for both sexes in the persistent group (boys p<0.05, girls p<0.001) and for girls in the transient group (p<0.01). A doctor's diagnosis of asthma did not significantly differ between boys and girls, but significantly more boys than girls had inhaled corticosteroids, even when stratifying by frequency of symptoms.
Conclusion: These results suggest that when 4-y-old children are stratified according to common diagnostic criteria, girls have a larger effect on PEF of asthma symptoms and are less frequently treated compared to boys.