If the influence of gender on lung cancer is controversial, converging studies show that in terms of respiratory disease men and women are not equal, not only because of the difference in their hormonal system, but also for anatomical reasons.
“Hormonal factors are probably decisive in the functioning of the respiratory system of women throughout their adult life,” says Francine Kauffmann, director of research at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) of Villejuif. Indeed, respiratory disease reaches twice as many boys as girls until the age of 4 years. A teen that curve fades, to reverse the puberty and there are, in 30 years, twice as many women as men with asthma. At menopause asthmatic risk decreases by 35% compared with that of a woman of childbearing potential. “Between 50 and 54 years, asthma affects between 20 and 30% more men than women,” says Dr. Cecilie Svan, of Haukeland Hospital respiratory medicine department in Bergen (Norway).
hormonal and anatomical factor system
The various lung specialists met in Florence (Italy) for a World Congress of Pneumology involve the female reproductive system: one before menstruation, the airways narrow, demanding a greater ventilation and, secondly, after ovulation respiratory needs are 30% wider than before.
In the case of smokers, women are twice more likely than men to suffer from respiratory disease, a family of widely attributable to smoking conditions. “In addition to hormonal factors, this difference could be explained by an anatomical factor: the lungs are smaller, the exposure per unit area to smoke is more important Furthermore, we also suspect a greater sensitivity to broncho. -constriction “women (contraction of muscles in the walls of the bronchi which causes them to shrink), says Eva Prescott, of the Institute of preventive medicine Kommunehospilatet to Copenhagen (Denmark).
Passive smoking: the most vulnerable boys
In the same vein, boys and girls are not equal to the face passive smoking: “A recent analysis of the European community respiratory health survey (ECRHS) indicates that exposure to passive smoke does more damage in boys and girls, “notes Cecilie Svan, Norwegian doctor. “If one parent or both, smoke, there are an increased risk of wheezing in adulthood respectively 15% and 30% for boys, while nothing like this is observed in girls. this difference could be due to what the boys during their young age, have less well developed lungs than girls, and therefore more susceptible to damage caused by smoking. ”
In any case, everyone agrees that the harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy are the same for the unborn child, boy or girl: a 30% increase in the risk of wheezing.
Pregnancy is still a great opportunity to stop, regardless of the color of slippers to knit, pink or blue.