Men vs Women

Researchers have confirmed that the toll of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is harder on women than men, both clinically and physiologically. Why this is so, remains a mystery, according to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The records of over 1,000 patients who participated in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial that evaluated Lung Volume Reduction Surgery were studied.

Women at the same advanced stages of COPD reported greater breathlessness and depression than men did. The distribution of emphysema in the lungs also differed significantly.

image078-1Women had significantly shorter smoking histories, were younger, had lower body mass index and decreased exercise capacity on the sixminute walk test compared with men.

image081-4Depression and difficult breathing symptoms were higher among women. In the year 2000, the number of women who succumbed to COPD surpassed the number of men. Further research into the differences between the sexes will need to be investigated.

In another study, The New England Journal of Medicine reports that breathing polluted air is especially dangerous to women between 50 and 79 years old. The study involved 26 US metropolitan areas and almost 66,000 women. It is thought that the small particles in smog travel deep into the lungs to cause inflammation which lead to heart attacks and strokes.