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      Influence of sex on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease risk and treatment outcomes

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          Abstract

          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), one of the most common chronic diseases and a leading cause of death, has historically been considered a disease of men. However, there has been a rapid increase in the prevalence, morbidity, and mortality of COPD in women over the last two decades. This has largely been attributed to historical increases in tobacco consumption among women. But the influence of sex on COPD is complex and involves several other factors, including differential susceptibility to the effects of tobacco, anatomic, hormonal, and behavioral differences, and differential response to therapy. Interestingly, nonsmokers with COPD are more likely to be women. In addition, women with COPD are more likely to have a chronic bronchitis phenotype, suffer from less cardiovascular comorbidity, have more concomitant depression and osteoporosis, and have a better outcome with acute exacerbations. Women historically have had lower mortality with COPD, but this is changing as well. There are also differences in how men and women respond to different therapies. Despite the changing face of COPD, care providers continue to harbor a sex bias, leading to underdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis of COPD in women. In this review, we present the current knowledge on the influence of sex on COPD risk factors, epidemiology, diagnosis, comorbidities, treatment, and outcomes, and how this knowledge may be applied to improve clinical practices and advance research.

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          Most cited references 58

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          Alternative projections of mortality and disability by cause 1990–2020: Global Burden of Disease Study

          Plausible projections of future mortality and disability are a useful aid in decisions on priorities for health research, capital investment, and training. Rates and patterns of ill health are determined by factors such as socioeconomic development, educational attainment, technological developments, and their dispersion among populations, as well as exposure to hazards such as tobacco. As part of the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), we developed three scenarios of future mortality and disability for different age-sex groups, causes, and regions. We used the most important disease and injury trends since 1950 in nine cause-of-death clusters. Regression equations for mortality rates for each cluster by region were developed from gross domestic product per person (in international dollars), average number of years of education, time (in years, as a surrogate for technological change), and smoking intensity, which shows the cumulative effects based on data for 47 countries in 1950-90. Optimistic, pessimistic, and baseline projections of the independent variables were made. We related mortality from detailed causes to mortality from a cause cluster to project more detailed causes. Based on projected numbers of deaths by cause, years of life lived with disability (YLDs) were projected from different relation models of YLDs to years of life lost (YLLs). Population projections were prepared from World Bank projections of fertility and the projected mortality rates. Life expectancy at birth for women was projected to increase in all three scenarios; in established market economies to about 90 years by 2020. Far smaller gains in male life expectancy were projected than in females; in formerly socialist economies of Europe, male life expectancy may not increase at all. Worldwide mortality from communicable maternal, perinatal, and nutritional disorders was expected to decline in the baseline scenario from 17.2 million deaths in 1990 to 10.3 million in 2020. We projected that non-communicable disease mortality will increase from 28.1 million deaths in 1990 to 49.7 million in 2020. Deaths from injury may increase from 5.1 million to 8.4 million. Leading causes of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) predicted by the baseline model were (in descending order): ischaemic heart disease, unipolar major depression, road-traffic accidents, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections, tuberculosis, war injuries, diarrhoeal diseases, and HIV. Tobacco-attributable mortality is projected to increase from 3.0 million deaths in 1990 to 8.4 million deaths in 2020. Health trends in the next 25 years will be determined mainly by the ageing of the world's population, the decline in age-specific mortality rates from communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional disorders, the spread of HIV, and the increase in tobacco-related mortality and disability. Projections, by their nature, are highly uncertain, but we found some robust results with implications for health policy.
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            50-year trends in smoking-related mortality in the United States.

            The disease risks from cigarette smoking increased in the United States over most of the 20th century, first among male smokers and later among female smokers. Whether these risks have continued to increase during the past 20 years is unclear. We measured temporal trends in mortality across three time periods (1959-1965, 1982-1988, and 2000-2010), comparing absolute and relative risks according to sex and self-reported smoking status in two historical cohort studies and in five pooled contemporary cohort studies, among participants who became 55 years of age or older during follow-up. For women who were current smokers, as compared with women who had never smoked, the relative risks of death from lung cancer were 2.73, 12.65, and 25.66 in the 1960s, 1980s, and contemporary cohorts, respectively; corresponding relative risks for male current smokers, as compared with men who had never smoked, were 12.22, 23.81, and 24.97. In the contemporary cohorts, male and female current smokers also had similar relative risks for death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (25.61 for men and 22.35 for women), ischemic heart disease (2.50 for men and 2.86 for women), any type of stroke (1.92 for men and 2.10 for women), and all causes combined (2.80 for men and 2.76 for women). Mortality from COPD among male smokers continued to increase in the contemporary cohorts in nearly all the age groups represented in the study and within each stratum of duration and intensity of smoking. Among men 55 to 74 years of age and women 60 to 74 years of age, all-cause mortality was at least three times as high among current smokers as among those who had never smoked. Smoking cessation at any age dramatically reduced death rates. The risk of death from cigarette smoking continues to increase among women and the increased risks are now nearly identical for men and women, as compared with persons who have never smoked. Among men, the risks associated with smoking have plateaued at the high levels seen in the 1980s, except for a continuing, unexplained increase in mortality from COPD.
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              An official American Thoracic Society public policy statement: Novel risk factors and the global burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

              Although cigarette smoking is the most important cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a substantial proportion of COPD cases cannot be explained by smoking alone. To evaluate the risk factors for COPD besides personal cigarette smoking. We constituted an ad hoc subcommittee of the American Thoracic Society Environmental and Occupational Health Assembly. An international group of members was invited, based on their scientific expertise in a specific risk factor for COPD. For each risk factor area, the committee reviewed the literature, summarized the evidence, and developed conclusions about the likelihood of it causing COPD. All conclusions were based on unanimous consensus. The population-attributable fraction for smoking as a cause of COPD ranged from 9.7 to 97.9%, but was less than 80% in most studies, indicating a substantial burden of disease attributable to nonsmoking risk factors. On the basis of our review, we concluded that specific genetic syndromes and occupational exposures were causally related to the development of COPD. Traffic and other outdoor pollution, secondhand smoke, biomass smoke, and dietary factors are associated with COPD, but sufficient criteria for causation were not met. Chronic asthma and tuberculosis are associated with irreversible loss of lung function, but there remains uncertainty about whether there are important phenotypic differences compared with COPD as it is typically encountered in clinical settings. In public health terms, a substantive burden of COPD is attributable to risk factors other than smoking. To prevent COPD-related disability and mortality, efforts must focus on prevention and cessation of exposure to smoking and these other, less well-recognized risk factors.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                2014
                14 October 2014
                : 9
                : 1145-1154
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
                [2 ]Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, USA
                [3 ]Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: David M Mannino, Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, University of Kentucky, 111 Washington Avenue, Lexington, KY 40536, USA, Email dmannino@ 123456uky.edu
                Article
                copd-9-1145
                10.2147/COPD.S54476
                4206206
                © 2014 Aryal et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Respiratory medicine

                sex bias, comorbidity, smoking, sex, chronic obstructive lung disease

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