Adolescent respiratory symptoms-girls are at risk: The Young-HUNT study, Norway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The objective was to study sex differences in adolescence regarding prevalence of asthma and current wheeze and to explore the association between respiratory symptoms and hereditary, lifestyle and socioeconomic factors. Young-HUNT included data comprehensive questionnaire on health, disease, lifestyle and social factors from 8817 teenagers 13-19 years conducted in 1995/97 (89% response rate). Questionnaire on respiratory symptoms was based on the International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Childhood (ISAAC). In age groups 13-16 and 17-19 years, current wheeze was reported by 29.0% and 33.5% among girls and 20.4% and 22.1% among boys, whilst the corresponding figures for asthma were 8.5% and 12.2% among girls and 7.1% and 7.0% among boys. Both wheeze and asthma were significantly more prevalent and increased with age in girls compared to boys. Heredity was associated with asthma, but the association was strongest between parents and children of the same sex. Environmental smoking was associated with asthma and wheeze in girls only. Girls reported more asthma and wheeze in association with overweight compared to boys. Girls reported more wheeze and asthma than boys and seemed more susceptible to risk factors such as environmental smoking and overweight than boys. Moreover, girls with mothers having asthma were more likely to be diagnosed as asthmatics themselves. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


  • sex differences, adolescence, prevalence, risk factors, asthma
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-476
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch