Do gender and puberty influence allergic diseases?

Main Article Content

Cristine Secco Rosário
Cristina Alves Cardozo
Herberto José Chong Neto
Nelson Augusto Rosário Filho

Keywords

gender, allergy, rhinitis, sex, puberty

Abstract

Differences between biological sex, gender identity, and their impact on health may have significant implications for the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of several diseases, including allergies. Asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR), atopic dermatitis (AD), and allergic conjunctivitis (AC) have different prevalences and different risk factors in infancy. Although boys present allergies more often in childhood, it quickly changes during girls’ sexual development, leading to lifelong female predominance of allergic diseases. This can be explained by the influence of sexual hormones, different lifestyles adopted by men and women, microbiota diversity, diet distinctions, professional options, and adherence to treatment, among others. Gender-related aspects should become essential parameters in allergology to diagnostic and therapeutic stratification, associated with molecular, genetic, and epigenetic patterns. Longitudinal studies would be interesting to evaluate possible mechanisms underlying these differences in prevalence. Sex- and gender-specific observations beyond 14 years of age are scarce and further allergic multimorbidity studies in different populations, especially in adults, are necessary.

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