Study says women's menstrual cycle affects severity of respiratory symptoms

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New study led by Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen in Norway states that a womans menstrual cycle affects the severity of respiratory symptoms, w...

New study led by Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen in Norway states that a woman’s menstrual cycle affects the severity of respiratory symptoms, which can worsen the condition like asthma.

The research team also studied nearly 4,000 women and found such symptoms were worse around the time of ovulation. The findings also state that it may be possible to adapt women’s medication to account for this phenomenon.

A charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of asthma sufferers, said these findings could help women with asthma manage their condition better.

None of the women studied were taking hormonal contraceptives and all had regular menstrual cycles lasting 28 days or less. Of these, 28.5% were smokers and 8% have been diagnosed with asthma. For most, wheezing symptoms worsened between days 10 and 22 of their cycles, with a slight dip near ovulation.

The days seven to 21 saw the worsening in shortness of breath, with same slight dip near ovulation. The pronounced variations in syntoms were found during the menstrual cycle in women with asthma, suggesting women may need tailored medication regimes.

The adjustment of asthma medication to the menstrual cycle may potentially improve the efficacy of asthma treatment and reduce disability and health costs related to asthma in women.  

Dr. Ferenc Mascali said, “Our results point to the potential for individualizing therapy for respiratorydiseases according to individual patterns. Adjusting asthma medication, according to a women’s menstrual cycle may improve efficacy and help reduce the disability and the costs of care."

According to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nearly 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, and more than 3,300 die from asthma every year.

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