Eye on Health: Gender and Asthma - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Eye on Health: Gender and Asthma

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For years, doctors have treated asthma symptoms the same for men and women but that may soon change.

There is growing evidence that the disease impacts men and women in different ways and, experts say treatment should reflect that.

Even though she's been dealing with asthma since she was 12, Jodi Moore says it's never been as bad as when she was expecting her daughters.

"It was way worse when I was pregnant, yeah. It was worse that it had ever been. ever," says Moore.

The fact that Moore's asthma flared to dangerous levels when she was pregnant is obviously a uniquely female experience but when it comes to asthma, it may not be the only one.

"Asthma in men and women is not the same. There is this general perception hat, yo know, one size fits all for asthma, but we have found that, actually, that's not the case," says Dr. Jennifer McCallister.

Dr. McCallister is an asthma expert who is calling for a news sex specific approach to asthma.

Dr. McCallister says there is growing evidence that the same disease can affect men and women in very different ways.

For example, under the age of 15, asthma is 54 percent more common in males. But after that age of 35, that changes, asthma becomes nearly twice as common in women.

Females are also more likely to be hospitalized from asthma and are more likely to die from it.

Studies show, they even report different symptoms which could impact how their doctors choose to treat them.

"By using sex-specific symptoms, then you may be better able to determine just how well controlled the patient's asthma is," says Dr. McCallister.

There are enough differences in men and women, that many are now calling for the same thing a new gender specific approach to studying and treating asthma.

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