An individual’s sex (nominally ‘male’ or ‘female’, based on biological attributes) and gender (a complex term, referring to socially constructed roles, behaviors, and expressions of identity) influences the clinical course of asthma in several ways. The physiological development of the lungs and effects of sex hormones may explain why more boys have asthma than girls, and post-puberty, more women have asthma than men. Female sex hormones have an impact throughout the lifespan and are associated with poor asthma control. Gender may influence exposure to asthma triggers, and sex and gender can influence the prevalence of comorbidities and interactions with healthcare professionals (HCPs). Despite widely reported sex and gender-based differences in asthma and asthma management, these issues are frequently not considered by HCPs. There is also inconsistency around use of ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in scientific discourse, and research is needed to better define sex and gender-based differences and how they might interact to influence asthma outcomes. This review outlines the impact an individual’s sex and gender can have on the pathogenesis, clinical course, diagnosis, treatment, and management of asthma.
Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Inc.