A new study has found that due to the effects of sex hormones on lungs cells women are prone to asthma than men. The testosterone hindered an immune cell linked to asthma symptoms, such as mucus production in the lungs and inflammation, researchers found.
According to PTI reports, earlier studies have found that boys have about 1.5 times higher rate of asthma than girls before puberty. But the researchers said the trend reverses after puberty and women tend to have asthma more than men.
From the Vanderbilt University in the US, Dawn Newcomb said,”When we started this study, we really thought that ovarian hormones would increase inflammation, more so than testosterone making it better.”
A senior author of the study published in the journal Cell Reports, Newcomb said, “I was surprised to see that testosterone was more important in reducing inflammation.”
She further added, “Sex hormones are not the only mechanism but, rather, one of many mechanisms that could be regulating airway inflammation.”
The researchers found that those with asthma had more ILC2 cells than those without as they collected blood from people with and without asthma. Among that group, women had more ILC2 cells than asthmatic men. And this condition continues until women hit the menopause stage. After menopause, the asthma rates in women start to decline.
Newcomb and her colleagues focused mainly on the mouse and human cells to study further related to gender differences that they had observed. However, Newcomb hopes to expand further studies to explore the effects of more sex hormones on asthma as this study only focused on testosterone.