(HealthDay News) – In the fifth to sixth decades of life, women have a significantly higher hospitalization rates for asthma compared to men, according to research published in the September issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Robert Yao-wen Lin, MD, from the New York Downtown Hospital in New York City, and colleagues utilized data from the National Inpatient Sample (2000–2010) to identify patients with a principal diagnosis of asthma. The ratio of female to male hospitalization rates for different decades of adult life were calculated.

The researchers found that for all years studied there was a distinct peaking in female to male ratio most evident in the fifth to sixth decades of life. There was a significant association with female sex and this age grouping, even after adjustment for obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, race, insurance status, discharge year, and smoking. The age grouping association was also not altered by excluding identifiable repeat admissions.

“There is a striking propensity of women in their fifth to sixth decades of life to be admitted for asthma, which appears to be independent of many known comorbidities,” the authors write.

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