Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Impacts of sex and gender on severe asthma
  1. Kimberley C W Wang1,2,
  2. John D Blakey3,4
  1. 1 The University of Western Australia School of Human Sciences, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  2. 2 Telethon Kids Institute, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia
  3. 3 Respiratory Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  4. 4 Medical School, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr John D Blakey, Respiratory Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Australia; john.blakey{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

For decades, the unwritten rule for asthma management was ‘Keep it Simple’, with clinicians largely trying to apply a one-size-fits-all stepwise approach to hundreds of millions of people across the globe. More recently, our broader understanding, increasing array of targeted therapies, and relatively stagnant outcomes have led to a greater acknowledgement of the complexity that needs to be addressed.1 However, despite progress, our therapeutic pathways do not account for some basic patient characteristics such as sex. The impacts of sex and gender on asthma pathogenesis, prevalence and manifestation throughout life have been studied to some degree, but the study by Loewenthal et al in this issue of Thorax 2 focusing on severe asthma is a welcome addition to the literature. The authors have used the UK Severe Asthma Registry (UKSAR) and Optimum Patient Care Research Database (OPCRD) to evaluate sex differences in disease characteristics, symptom control, exacerbations, core biological phenotypes and treatment in patients with severe asthma using a retrospective epidemiological approach.2 They found that women report a greater symptom burden despite having better lung function and inflammatory profiles compared with males. This finding was apparent in mild, moderate or severe asthma.

It is well recognised that men …

View Full Text


  • X @DrKimberleyWang

  • Contributors The authors contributed equally to the drafting and writing of this editorial, and both approved the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests JB declares potential conflicts of interest outside of this area of research from manufacturers of asthma therapeutics: in the last 3 years, he or his institution has received income for educational activities or advisory work or research support from AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, GSK and Sanofi.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Linked Articles