Women are more prone to allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases

Study suggests that young girls are healthier than their male counterparts, but these roles change with age.
By Ananth Baliga   |   Nov. 8, 2013 at 10:07 AM
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(UPI) -- When it comes to the healthier sex, a new study, presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, suggests that adult males are healthier than adult females.

Renata Engler, an allergist, presented the findings and said that adult females are at higher risk for allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases.

"More prepubescent males have rhinitis, asthma and food allergy than females," said Engler. "However, roles change. When females enter young adulthood, they outnumber men in these chronic illness categories."

The reasons for this difference in disease risk and immunity are complicated. While the IgG (antibody) immune response to vaccines is enhanced in women compared to men, IgG levels are higher in asthmatic men.

This, she said, means that doctors will have to look at more personalized treatments and a one-size-fits-all approach won't work.

"The importance of sex differences in the practice of allergy-immunology cannot be overstated," said Engler. "Improved sex/gender based medicine and research practices will benefit men and women alike."

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