Jul 21, 2019 | Updated: 08:54 AM EDT

Battle of the Sexes: Could Being Female Influence Fatal Allergic Reactions?

Dec 30, 2014 03:47 PM EST

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Allergic Rashes

They may not necessarily be known as the fairer sex, but researchers of a recent study did find that females may be more prone to death by anaphylaxis. From rashes to the more severe anaphylaxis, allergic reactions vary depending on the gravity of exposure to allergens, one's allergic threshold, and according to the new study, the presence of estrogen -- the primary sex hormones in a woman's body.

The research conducted by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found that oestradiol, a type of estrogen, enhances the levels of chemicals that drive fatal allergic reactions.This could explain why men are less likely to be admitted to hospitals for the life-threatening anaphylaxis caused by many severe allergies.

The study published this week in the journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology used mouse model, and found that female mice experienced more severe and longer lasting anaphylactic reactions than males. Estrogen was seen to have influenced blood vessels, enhancing the levels and activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), causing some of the most severe allergic reactions.

Administration of estrogen-blocking treatments reduced the severity of the allergic reactions for the female mice, making the reaction similar to those seen in males.

Researchers, however, said that more work is needed to determine if the effects are the same in humans, and if the findings could be applied in the production of future drugs to prevent women from suffering from deadly allergic reactions.

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