[Are there specific characteristics of COPD in women?]

Rev Mal Respir. 2010 Jun;27(6):611-24. doi: 10.1016/j.rmr.2010.04.006. Epub 2010 May 20.
[Article in French]


Introduction: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a disorder resulting from an interaction between a genetic predisposition, still poorly understood, and the impact of environmental factors including tobacco smoke or professional or domestic air contaminants.

Background: The prevalence of COPD in the world concerns women as much as men, but it remains under diagnosed among women smokers. The mortality data show an increase in mortality among women compared to men. It thus seems that COPD in women presents more often a particular phenotype, characterized more by bronchial attacks than by emphysema, and by more marked functional effects on the quality of life. Anxiety and depression seem more marked with further repercussions on the quality of life. The effectiveness of treatment may be different, in particular with regard to nicotine weaning and respiratory rehabilitation.

Viewpoint and conclusions: In the evaluation of chronic diseases in women little is known about COPD. Further studies, focusing specifically on these differences, are needed in order to improve the diagnosis and management of COPD in women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / etiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / psychology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Sex Factors