Menstruation increases bronchial hyperreactivity in women with asthma

Day of menstruation cycle at the time of methacholine challenge was calculated in 571 menstruating women, aged 28 to 58 years. A window of risk was defined 3 days before and after the first day of menstruation.

The prevalence of BHR was 13% (fall of or greater than 20% in FEV(1) up to a maximal cumulative dose of 2 mg), and 6% had asthma.

There was an increase in BHR within the window of risk (odds ratio [OR], 2.3). The OR lower than 1 in women using oral contraceptives (OCs).

There is variation in BHR during the menstruation cycle, supporting the hypothesis of a hormonal influence. Oral contraceptives (OCs) appear to have a protective effect.

Perimenstrual increase in bronchial hyperreactivity in premenopausal women: Results from the population-based SAPALDIA 2 cohort. Dratva J, Schindler C, Curjuric I, Stolz D, Macsali F, Gomez FR, Zemp E; on the behalf of the SAPALDIA Team. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Mar 12.
Image source: Spirometry, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, GNU Free Documentation License.

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