Plenty of health reports show that more women are suffering from asthma, and a recent study helps us understand why. It seems that the condition is caused by a higher number of rare white cells in the blood, which are usually controlled by testosterone. Since women have less testosterone than men, they get more vulnerable to the condition.
Fewer men suffer from asthma
During childhood, boys are more likely to suffer from asthma than girls. However, once they grow up, the situation changes. The chances of adult women to develop the lung condition get double, while those of men remain small. According to the researchers, this happens because of the sudden increase in testosterone levels during and after puberty.
Asthma is caused by the rare white cells called ILC2. Once the number of these cells present in our blood rises, the body suffers an allergic reaction which expresses itself as bronchial asthma. Therefore, researchers decided to count the cells present in the bloodstream of both men and women who suffered from the condition, but also in a control group of healthy individuals.
The secret against asthma is testosterone
The group of healthy people showed no significant difference in the number of cells between men and women. However, in the asthmatic group, women had a lot more ILC2s than men. To make sure the connection between asthma and testosterone was real, the researchers continued the study on mice.
This is how they noticed that testosterone controlled the number of these immune cells. The female specimens had 1.5 times more ILC2 white cells than the males. Moreover, the presence of the sexual hormones prevented these cells from causing the inflammation of the airways. Therefore, the fact that women have significantly less testosterone than men makes them more susceptible to the respiratory condition.