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May 13, 2022

Charity Says that Women are two times more likely to Die from Asthma Attack

Not long after having her son, Lisa Hall was diagnosed with asthma and it is a source of worry to her as she thought she will not be healthy enough to care for him.

Figures which suggest that asthma kills twice as many women as men also showed that 180,000 women in Wales suffer from the condition.

The Welsh government said any new evidence of more severe disease in women would be considered. According to the Office for National Statistics, women accounted for almost 70% of asthma deaths between 2016 and 2020.

In its report, Asthma + Lung UK said that there is need for urgent research investment saying that inequalities and lack of research was leaving women "stuck in a cycle of being in and out of hospital and in some cases, losing their lives".

Lisa, from Newport was diagnosed with asthma at age 28 not long after having her son and said she had to not only adjust to being a mum, but "had this new diagnosis to juggle".

She said "I would never want a new mum or any other woman or girl to experience the same thing I have, we need to better understand how asthma affects women so we can find new treatments that will give people like me their lives back."

Lisa who has lived with the condition for the last 13years is concerned about what might happen to her if her asthma worsens.

She said that she noticed that her asthma gets worse in the lead up to and during her period which often made it difficult to breathe.

Lisa had these to say; "I think for some people speaking about your menstrual cycle is quite taboo, so maybe if it's thought about more on a medical level, and questions could be raised from the medical professional side rather than it coming from the patient that would help, it could open discussion pathways and potentially better treatment options for women and girls finding themselves in a similar position."

Lisa takes eight different medications to control her asthma.

Research has shown asthma is more prevalent and severe in boys during childhood but then reverses after puberty becoming more prevalent and severe among women.

In hospitals in Wales, the rates of admissions for asthma are similar for both boys and girls in the early teenage years but between ages 20-49, it is almost three times higher in women than in men according to an analysis by Asthma +Lung UK research.

'Gaps In Knowledge Failing Women'

Chief executive of Asthma+Lung UK research, Sara Woolnough, said "Gaps in our knowledge are failing women, leaving them struggling with debilitating asthma symptoms, stuck in a cycle of being in and out of hospital and in some cases, losing their lives."

"By understanding the role of sex hormones in asthma, we could transform the lives of the three million women with the condition in the UK and the many millions of women with asthma across the world."

"We urgently need to see more investment in research in this area so we can find new treatments and better use existing treatments to help millions of women and save lives."

A spokesperson for the Welsh government however had this to say; "We expect women affected by asthma to be supported by the NHS in line with recommended clinical practice. This includes the provision of individualised care plans that reflect the different needs of patients. Any emerging evidence regarding causes of more severe disease among women would need to be considered by guideline setting organisations and where necessary incorporated into recommended clinical practice."

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