Study: Women Hospitalized More Often for Asthma Than Men
PASADENA, Calif. A study of 1,286 hospitalized acute asthma patients has shown that while males are more often hospitalized as children, females are hospitalized more often as adults. The study showed no gender differences in asthma severity markers in children, but hospitalized women with asthma have less severe airway obstruction on admission than men.
"These results are consistent with the observation that asthma is more prevalent in young boys than girls," said Michael Schatz, M.D., M.S., chief of the Department of Allergy, Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center. "These and other data suggest that greater distress in response to a given level of airway obstruction may contribute to the increased proportion of adult women versus men who are hospitalized with asthma."
The study is published in the January edition of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians. In addition to Dr. Schatz, the other authors of the study are Sunday Clark, M.P.H., Sc.D., and Carlos A. Camargo, Jr., M.D., Dr.P.H., both of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital.
Data were collected from 30 United States hospitals as part of the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) Asthma Clinical Benchmarking Project. The study assessed 606 pediatric patients ages 2 to 17, and 680 adults ages 18 to 54.
Forty percent of the patients admitted to the hospital for treatment of asthma symptoms were girls ages 2 to 17 while 68 percent were women age 18 to 54. Among the adults studied, women were more likely than men to have a primary care provider. "We did not find any other treatment differences that could account for the gender disparities in hospitalization rates in the two age groups," said Schatz. "Additional studies are definitely needed to better understand the mechanism at work in this condition."
This article originally appeared in the May 2006 issue of HME Business.