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Women with asthma more likely to be admitted via A&E than men

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Women with acute asthma who end up in accident and emergency are 60% more likely to be admitted to hospital, according to new research.

The US study analysed records for 2,000 people with acute asthma who were treated in emergency departments.

“These findings reflect the inadequacy of clinical and public health measures to manage female patients with asthma”

Study paper

While female patients were more likely to have seen an asthma specialist and be using medication, such as inhalers, to control their condition than men, they were also significantly more likely to need admission.

Researchers suggested there could be a number of reasons for the difference between the sexes, including differences in the way men and women perceived breathing difficulties and looked after their health and the potential impact of female sex hormones.

Overall, the study found evidence that asthma was poorly controlled among both women and men in the study group, with 36% of women and 32% of men having been admitted to hospital for asthma in the past.

Sixteen per cent of women and 13% of men had been admitted to hospital for asthma in the past year.

However, the authors said the findings could indicate particular shortcomings when it came to services for women with asthma.

“Women have higher risks of hospitalisation, despite their greater use of asthma specialists and guideline-recommended long-term asthma care,” stated the paper.

“These findings continue to reflect the inadequacy of current clinical and public health measures to manage female patients with asthma,” they added.

The study was published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal published by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

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