This Article is About
diseases
female smokers
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
obstructive pulmonary disease
risk factors
Copd In Womn Is On The Rise, More Women Dying From Breathing Diseases
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Copd In Womn is on the Rise, More Women Dying From Breathing Diseases

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is not just a single disease but rather the term for any number of breathing related issues that can include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma and others. In the past, these conditions were largely considered to be problems faced by men but women have been diagnosed with COPD more and more often. In addition, more women die from one or more of these conditions than men do in recent years. The first year that that happened was in 2000 when women's deaths attributed to COPD passed that of the men. By 2008, the death rate gap had widened considerably.

One possible explanation for the change is the increase in the number of female smokers. In a recent study by the Harvard School of Medicine, women who smoke not only get COPD sooner but tend to have more serious symptoms and are at a much higher risk of dying than a male smoker does. A female smoker's risk of dying from one of the COPD related diseases is thirteen times higher than that of a woman who does not smoke, as well.Only 15% of women with COPD were lifelong non-smokers according to several different studies. The risk factors go higher when there is a secondary or underlying risk factor or complication, including asthma.

Two prominent studies suggested that there is a potential gender bias in diagnosing COPD for women with both studies showing that women who present with identical symptoms as a man is more likely to be treated for something less serious before she is given more comprehensive testing. Common symptoms include chronic shortness of breath, especially on exertion, a cough which may or may not produce heavy amounts of sputum, and evidence of sputum or fluid in the lungs. Women with COPD also report increased anxiety and/or depression than men do. They are also more likely to have problems with malnutrition which can increase their risk of secondary infections and complications especially if they are not admitted to the hospital for further treatments.

As with many chronic health conditions, prevention is easier than treatment and doctors urge women especially to quit smoking and to avoid second hand smoke as much as possible. In addition, other irritants for the lungs like paint fumes or chemicals should also be avoided especially in those who are at higher risk for COPD. Women with asthma should be especially careful, working to effectively manage that condition before it becomes more serious.


Street Talk

Very interesting article Amie

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Good article! Hope that it will help women understand the seriousness of the situation!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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