Posted by Savvy Aggarwal on November 10, 2012

A study conducted by Norwegian researchers has revealed that the respiratory symptoms of asthma deteriorate during ovulation period of women's menstrual cycles.

Ferenc Macsali, the lead author of the study said," The effects of the menstrual cycle on respiratory symptoms in the general population have not been well studied. In a cohort of nearly 4,000 women, we found large and consistent changes in respiratory symptoms according to menstrual cycle phase, and, in addition, these patterns varied according to body mass index (BMI), asthma, and smoking status."

Of the 182 women who were studied for the research, 28.5 per cent were smokers and 8 per cent had been suffering from asthma.

The summarized findings of the study as published in the Outcome magazine are:
"Significant variations over the menstrual cycle were found for each symptom assessed in all subjects and subgroups. Reported wheezing was higher on cycle days 10-22, with a mid-cycle dip near the putative time of ovulation (~days 14-16) in most subgroups."

"Shortness of breath was highest on days 7-21, with a dip just prior to mid-cycle in a number of subgroups. The incidence of cough was higher just after putative ovulation for asthmatics, subjects with BMI ≥ 23kg/m2, and smokers, or just prior to ovulation and the onset of menses in subgroups with a low incidence of symptoms."

Macsali said that the results of the study are extremely significant and are a breakthrough in the treatment for asthma in women as the knowledge of the effect of menstrual cycles on the respiratory symptoms of asthma can help the doctors prescribe medicines and monitor the intensity of those medicines accordingly. This would also significantly reduce the cost of treatment.

Said Macsali," Our results point to the potential for individualizing therapy for respiratory diseases according to individual symptom patterns. Adjusting asthma medication, for example, according to a woman's menstrual cycle might improve its efficacy and help reduce disability and the costs of care."

According to the national information statistics present with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as many as 25 million people in America suffer from asthma and the condition is more common in adult women as compared to adult men.

The study has been published in the November 9 issue of American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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