Gender differences in COPD


Many think of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as a man’s disease. That view used to be supported by statistics, with the number of men compared to women who died from COPD reported as 5 to 1 in 1959. However, between 1968-1999, the number of women dying from COPD increased by 382% while the number of men increased by only 27%. The year 2000 was the first year that more women than men died from COPD, and this trend has continued.

COPD affects women differently than men, with women more likely to experience more severe shortness of breath, more anxiety and depression, lower quality of life and increased airway hyperresponsiveness.

Why does COPD affect men and women differently? What are some of the treatment considerations? Find out here.