Why Are Women More at Risk for Developing COPD Than Men?

March 1, 2018

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is a progressive disease which means it gets worse over time. Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, and chronic cough. COPD is caused by long-term exposure to irritants that damage the lungs, the frontrunner being cigarette smoke. Substances like air pollution, dust, and chemical fumes can also be causes. Historically, COPD has been considered a disease contained to white men. This is because they started smoking earlier and tended to smoke at much higher rates than other groups. Although, this stigma is changing and shocking statistics from the American Lung Association support this change. The ALA estimates that there are 7 million women diagnosed with COPD and even more living with symptoms that are undiagnosed. Since the 1980s the number of women whose lives have been lost as a result of COPD has quadrupled. So why are females becoming increasingly diagnosed? Women are more genetically prone to developing COPD than men, and they are likely to experience more intense symptoms. A woman’s body is different than a man’s in that women have narrower airways and smaller lungs, making irritants more toxic when inhaled. Women are now 37% more likely to develop COPD than their male counterparts. Many women began smoking in the 1970s and 1980s and COPD symptoms

January 11, 2018

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term used to describe a group of chronic lung diseases that cause symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest. Chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and refractory asthma are all part of the COPD family. COPD symptoms typically don’t appear until substantial lung damage has occurred and will continue to worsen over time. People with COPD are likely to experience exacerbations, or flare-ups, which cause symptoms to be much worse than what they are on a typical daily basis. Being aware of some common COPD triggers can help you better manage this disease and lessen the risk of flare-ups.

  1. Cigarette smoke- While cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD, secondhand smoke is just as dangerous. It’s one of the most common triggers for an exacerbation. For COPD sufferers, it’s important to steer clear of cigarettes.
  2. Other types of smoke- Burning a fire in your fireplace or cooking with a wood-burning stove can cause problems for those with COPD. They can both cause indoor air pollution, which can be a lung irritant.
  3. Dust- Dust can irritate airways and trigger a flare-up. Keeping your living space clean and clutter-free and dusting and vacuuming often can help.
  4. Strong scents- Candles, perfumes, and room sprays and be overwhelming and trigger a reaction in some p

Posted in Uncategorized by Admin Server | Tags: , ,
Beverly, MA

Methuen, MA

Portsmouth, NH

Lawrence, MA