The influence of gender on the perception of dyspnea in patients with mild-moderate asthma

01 Jun 2002


Men and women respond differently to asthma. Current data suggest that there are more hospital admissions, decreased quality of life (QOL) and increased use of MDIs, in asthmatic females compared to males.


Respiratory muscle strength, 2-agonists consumption, the QOL and the perception of dyspnea (POD) were measured in 20 asthmatic females and 20 males, with mild-persistent to moderate asthma. The results were compared to 40 normal subjects (20 females and 20 males), age matched, who served as a control group.


Inspiratory and expiratory muscle strength were significantly lower (p < 0.01), while the POD and the mean daily 2-agonist consumption were significantly higher (p < 0.005 and p < 0.001, respectively), in the females. The females also had significantly lower QOL compared to their male counterparts.


The POD and the mean daily 2-agonist consumption, in asthmatic females, are significantly higher and the QOL significantly lower than that of their male counterparts. The females also had weaker respiratory muscles. Hence, knowing the relation between the POD and the respiratory muscles it can be assumed that this deference in strength may play a role in the gender differences in the response to asthma.

Resource information

Respiratory conditions
  • Asthma
Respiratory topics
  • Disease management
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Weiner P, Massarwa F