Asthma & Allergy News Stories

Sep 10, 2010 3:14 PM by News First 5

Early periods linked to asthma risk

Women who start menstruating early may be at increased risk of asthma and poor lung function, new research shows.

Dr. Ferenc Macsali of the University of Bergen in Norway found that having one's first period at age 10 or earlier nearly doubled asthma risk.

"One might want to be alert regarding the potential increased asthma risk in girls with early menarche; programs focusing on ... smoking prevention in adolescents might include early menarche as an indicator of increased risk for impaired respiratory health," they conclude in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Because hormones appear to play a role in asthma and lung function, the researchers investigated whether the age when a woman began menstruating had any association with her asthma risk and respiratory function in adulthood. They looked at 3,354 women 27 to 57 years old participating in a Europe-wide study of respiratory health.

Results of two key tests of lung function-forced expiratory volume in one second, meaning the amount a person can exhale after a deep breath in a second, and forced vital capacity, the total volume of air one can exhale after a deep breath-were worse for women who started menstruating at age 10 or earlier compared to women who had their first period at 13, the researchers found.

The women whose periods started early were also nearly three times as likely to report having at least three symptoms of asthma along with bronchial hyperresponsiveness -- an exaggerated response to inhaling substances that cause the airways to constrict, which is a key symptom of asthma.

If you are suffering from asthma, contact Colorado Springs Allergy and Asthma Clinic for proper treatment to control your symptoms.

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