Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in men and women: myths and reality

Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2009 Sep 15;6(6):535-8. doi: 10.1513/pats.200904-018DS.


Chronic diseases have a variable impact on men and women due to the complex interaction between biological sex and environmental risk factors to which men and women are differentially exposed. Sex differences have not been adequately explored in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as most studies have either had small sample sizes or not enough women to allow for accurate comparisons. This article will address sex differences in susceptibility, expression of COPD subtypes, and activity-related breathlessness, and will identify key areas for further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / etiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects