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Sunday 01 February 2004

Near-fatal asthma related to menstruation.

By: Martinez-Moragon E, Plaza V, Serrano J, Picado C, Galdiz JB, Lopez-Vina A, Sanchis J.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2004 Feb;113(2):242-4

BACKGROUND: Menstruation has been suggested as a possible trigger of near-fatal asthma (NFA), but the evidence supporting this association remains weak. OBJECTIVE: We sought to assess the role of menstruation as a contributing factor in the development of NFA episodes in women of reproductive age. METHODS: Forty-four female patients of reproductive age with near-fatal attacks were enrolled in a multicenter study. Data on patient and clinical characteristics were collected. We also performed spirometric and allergy studies when the patients were in stable condition. RESULTS: Significantly more NFA episodes were observed on the first day of menstruation (11 [25%] patients) than on the remaining days (33 [75%] patients, P =.022), and patients who presented for care on the first day of menstruation used more inhaled salbutamol as rescue medication (9 [9.5] vs 1.8 [3.7] microg/d during the 7 days before the asthma exacerbation, P =.003). CONCLUSION: Menstruation might act as a contributing factor in the development of NFA episodes in patients with unstable asthma. Specific recommendations should be included in educational programs, and the self-management plans of asthmatic women of reproductive age should include the systematic recording of their asthma symptoms and pulmonary function in the perimenstrual phase.

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