Sex differences in asthma symptom profiles and control in the American Lung association asthma clinical research centers

Jennifer W. McCallister, Janet T. Holbrook, Christine Y. Wei, Jonathan P. Parsons, Cathy G. Benninger, Anne E. Dixon, Lynn B. Gerald, John G. Mastronarde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective Important differences between men and women with asthma have been demonstrated, with women describing more symptoms and worse asthma-related quality of life (QOL) despite having similar or better pulmonary function. While current guidelines focus heavily on assessing asthma control, they lack information about whether sex-specific approaches to asthma assessment should be considered. We sought to determine if sex differences in asthma control or symptom profiles exist in the well-characterized population of participants in the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ALA-ACRC) trials. Methods We reviewed baseline data from four trials published by the ALA-ACRC to evaluate individual item responses to three standardized asthma questionnaires: the Juniper Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ), the multi-attribute Asthma Symptom Utility Index (ASUI), and Juniper Mini Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (mini-AQLQ). Results In the poorly-controlled population, women reported similar overall asthma control (mean ACQ 1.9 vs. 1.8; p = 0.54), but were more likely to report specific symptoms such as nocturnal awakenings, activity limitations, and shortness of breath on individual item responses. Women reported worse asthma-related QOL on the mini-AQLQ (mean 4.5 vs. 4.9; p < 0.001) and more asthma-related symptoms with a lower mean score on the ASUI (0.73 vs. 0.77; p ≤ 0.0001) and were more likely to report feeling bothered by particular symptoms such as coughing, or environmental triggers. Conclusions In participants with poorly-controlled asthma, women had outwardly similar asthma control, but had unique symptom profiles on detailed item analyses which were evident on evaluation of three standardized asthma questionnaires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1500
Number of pages10
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Asthma
  • Control
  • Sex differences
  • Symptom profiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Sex differences in asthma symptom profiles and control in the American Lung association asthma clinical research centers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this