Gender differences of health behaviors and quality of life of Koreans with asthma


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore gender differences in health-behaviors and quality of life (QOL) in Koreans with asthma. Methods: Participants, selected from the 2009 Korean National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey VI, included 305 individuals (men = 128, women = 177) with asthma and over 19 years old. Health behaviors were measured by questions about disease management, health choices, and functional and psychological status. QOL was measured with the European Quality of Life-5D (EQ-5D). Results: In health behaviors, 51.3% of women and 37.7% of men suffered from wheezing at rest. About 41% of men and 10% of women were smokers. One half of the participants were not taking medication and this was not significantly different by gender. The number of women with symptoms of depression was significantly higher than men. The EQ-5D index score of women was significantly lower than that of men. Conclusion: Women with asthma were more likely to have psychological problems and discomfort than men. Understanding gender differences in asthma is important to the development of effective, tailored asthma management strategies to cope with symptoms and improve health behaviors and QOL for people with asthma.

Share and Cite:

Jang, Y. and Yoo, H. (2013) Gender differences of health behaviors and quality of life of Koreans with asthma. Open Journal of Nursing, 3, 420-425. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2013.36057.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] World Health Organization (2011) Asthma. 2011
[2] Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2011). Asthma fast facts.
[3] Korea Ministry for Health Welfare and Family Affairs (2011) Status of Chronic Disease in Korea. 2011
[4] Strine, T.W., et al. (2008) Impact of depression and anxiety on quality of life, health behaviors, and asthma control among adults in the United States with asthma, 2006. Journal of Asthma, 45, 123-133.
[5] Ford, E.S., et al. (2004) Determinants of quality of life among people with asthma: Findings from the behavioral risk factor surveillance system. Journal of Asthma, 41, 327-336.
[6] Jung, Y. and Lee, H. (2011) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Korea: Prevalence, risk factors, and quality of life. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, 41, 149-156.
[7] Oh, E.G., et al. (2010) Health behaviour and quality of life in Korean adults with respiratory disease: National health survey, 2005. International Journal of Tuberculosis & Lung Disease, 14, 772-778.
[8] Baibergenova, A., et al. (2006) Sex differences in hospital admissions from emergency departments in asthmatic adults: A population-based study. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunology, 96, 666-672.
[9] Kynyk, J.A., Mastronarde, J.G. and McCallister, J.W. (2011) Asthma, the sex difference. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, 17, 6-11.
[10] Chhabra, S. and Chhabra, P. (2011) Gender differences in perception of dyspnea, assessment of control, and quality of life in asthma. Journal of Asthma, 48, 609-615.
[11] Katsura, H., et al. (2007) Gender-associated differences in dyspnoea and health-related quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respirology, 12, 427-432.
[12] Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2010) Korea Health Statistics 2009: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES IV-3).
[13] Dolan, P. (1997) Modeling valuations for EuroQol health states. Medical Care, 35, 1095-1108.
[14] Leynaert, B., et al. (2012) Gender differences in prevalence, diagnosis and incidence of allergic and non-allergic asthma: A population-based cohort. Thorax, 67, 625-631.
[15] Raherison, C., et al. (2009) Evolution of asthma severity in a cohort of young adults: Is there any gender difference? PLoS One, 4, e7146.
[16] Manfreda, J., et al. (2004) Geographic and gender variability in the prevalence of bronchial responsiveness in Canada. Chest, 125, 1657-1664.
[17] Tovt-Korshynska, M., et al. (2001) Gender differences in psychological distress in adults with asthma. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 51, 629-637.
[18] Sung, G. (2007) Study on relationships between depresssion and the quality of life (EQ-5D): Centered on the subjects of “Survey on national health and nutrition the forth period the first year”. Master Thesis, Yonsei University, Seoul.
[19] Chung, Y.H. (2011) A report on the health related quality of life in Korean. Health welfare Policy Forum, 182, 6-14.
[20] Belloch, A., et al. (2003) Gender differences in healthrelated quality of life among patients with asthma. Journal of Asthma, 40, 945-953.
[21] Sinclair, A. and Tolsma, D. (2006) Gender differences in asthma experience and disease care in a managed care organization. Journal of Asthma, 43, 363-367.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.