February 12, 2015
1 min read

Select pulmonary measures differ by sex

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Certain pulmonary outcome measures such as forced expiratory volumes before and after bronchodilation differed by gender during puberty, according to study results.

Amy O. Thomas, MD, of the department of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and colleagues conducted longitudinal research on the Childhood Origins of Asthma (COAST) birth cohort study to identify any sex-associated relationships between lung physiology and asthma.

The COAST study was conducted from November 1998 to May 2000, and participants were followed up annually. At year 11, 217 of the 289 participants recruited at birth remained enrolled.

Girls, aged 5 to 11 years, had higher prebronchodilator FEV0.5/forced vital capacity (FVC) than did boys (mean difference, 0.017; 95% CI, 0-0.034). Data from postbronchodilator testing, however, showed that boys experienced a bigger reduction in FEV0.5/FVC than did girls of similar age (mean difference, 0.032; 95% CI, 0.014-0.049).

While fractional exhaled nitric oxide increased with age for both sexes between ages 6 and 11 years (P < .0001), differences between sexes were not significant.

“Our data showing higher postbronchodilation FEV0.5/FVC and FEV1/FVC in girls than in boys are consistent with the notion that boys may have narrower airways relative to lung volume, and are consistent with studies from multiple cohorts reporting higher FEV1/FVC in girls,” the researchers wrote. – by Ryan McDonald

Disclosure: Thomas reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.