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      Clinical Features Of Women With COPD: Sex Differences In A Cross-Sectional Study In Spain (“The ESPIRAL-ES Study”)

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          This cross-sectional multicenter study was performed aimed at describing the clinical characteristics of women with COPD attended in routine daily practice in Spain.

          Methods and results

          Of a total of 1610 consecutive patients diagnosed with COPD recruited in primary care centers and pneumology services throughout Spain over a 90-day period, 17.9% (n=286) were women, with a median age of 62 years. Differences in COPD phenotypes by sex were statistically significant ( P = 0.002). Males as compared with females showed a higher prevalence of non-exacerbator (47.9% vs 42.2%) and exacerbator with chronic bronchitis (22.9% vs 18.8%) phenotypes, whereas the ACOS phenotype was more common among females (21.7% vs 12.9%). The mean (SD) CAT score was similar in men than in women (20.8 [9.0] vs 21.2 [8.7], P = 0.481), as well as the impact of the disease on the quality of life according to CAT scores of <5 (no impact), 5–9 (low), 10–20 (medium), >20 (high), and >30 (very high). Sex-related differences according to smoking status were statistically significant ( P < 0.001), with a higher percentage of men as compared with women in the groups of current smokers and ex-smokers; never-smokers were higher in women (9.1%) than in men (0.6%). The mean number of comorbidities was 2.01 (1.43) (95% CI 1.93–2.09) in males and 1.99 (1.42) (95% CI 1.83–2.16) ( P = 0.930) in females, but cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, ischemic heart disease, chronic heart failure) were more frequent in men, whereas metabolic disorders (osteoporosis) were more frequent in women.


          This study highlights the impact of COPD in women and the importance of continuing sex-based research in tobacco-related respiratory diseases.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Prevalence of COPD in Spain: impact of undiagnosed COPD on quality of life and daily life activities.

          This study aimed to determine the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Spain and identify the level of undiagnosed disease and its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQL) and activities of daily living (ADL). A population-based sample of 4274 adults aged 40-80 years was surveyed. They were invited to answer a questionnaire and undergo prebrochodilator and postbronchodilator spirometry. COPD was defined as a postbronchodilator FEV(1)/FVC (forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity) ratio of <0.70. For 3802 participants with good-quality postbronchodilator spirometry, the overall prevalence of COPD was 10.2% (95% CI 9.2% to 11.1%) and was higher in men (15.1%) than in women (5.6%). The prevalence of COPD stage II or higher was 4.4% (95%CI; 3.8%-5.1%). The prevalence of COPD increased with age and with cigarette smoking and was higher in those with a low educational level. A previous diagnosis of COPD was reported by only 27% of those with COPD. Diagnosed patients had more severe disease, higher cumulative tobacco consumption and more severely impaired HRQL compared with undiagnosed subjects. However, even patients with undiagnosed COPD stage I+ already showed impairment in HRQL and in some aspects of ADL compared with participants without COPD. The prevalence of COPD in individuals between 40 and 80 years of age in Spain is 10.2% and increases with age, tobacco consumption and lower educational levels. The rate of diagnosised COPD is very high and undiagnosed individuals with COPD already have a significant impairment in HRQL and ADL.
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            COPD in Never Smokers

            Background: Never smokers comprise a substantial proportion of patients with COPD. Their characteristics and possible risk factors in this population are not yet well defined. Methods: We analyzed data from 14 countries that participated in the international, population-based Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study. Participants were aged ≥ 40 years and completed postbronchodilator spirometry testing plus questionnaires about respiratory symptoms, health status, and exposure to COPD risk factors. A diagnosis of COPD was based on the postbronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio, according to current GOLD (Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease) guidelines. In addition to this, the lower limit of normal (LLN) was evaluated as an alternative threshold for the FEV1/FVC ratio. Results: Among 4,291 never smokers, 6.6% met criteria for mild (GOLD stage I) COPD, and 5.6% met criteria for moderate to very severe (GOLD stage II+) COPD. Although never smokers were less likely to have COPD and had less severe COPD than ever smokers, never smokers nonetheless comprised 23.3% (240/1,031) of those classified with GOLD stage II+ COPD. This proportion was similar, 20.5% (171/832), even when the LLN was used as a threshold for the FEV1/FVC ratio. Predictors of COPD in never smokers include age, education, occupational exposure, childhood respiratory diseases, and BMI alterations. Conclusion: This multicenter international study confirms previous evidence that never smokers comprise a substantial proportion of individuals with COPD. Our data suggest that, in addition to increased age, a prior diagnosis of asthma and, among women, lower education levels are associated with an increased risk for COPD among never smokers.
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              Definition, epidemiology and natural history of COPD.

               S Maio,  L Carrozzi,  G Viegi (2007)
              Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fifth cause of morbidity and mortality in the developed world and represents a substantial economic and social burden. Patients experience a progressive deterioration up to end-stage COPD, characterised by very severe airflow limitation, severely limited and declining performance status with chronic respiratory failure, advanced age, multiple comorbidities and severe systemic manifestations/complications. COPD is frequently underdiagnosed and under-treated. Today, COPD develops earlier in life and is less gender specific. Tobacco smoking is the major risk factor for COPD, followed by occupation and air pollution. Severe deficiency for alpha(1)-antitrypsin is rare; several phenotypes are being associated with elevated risk for COPD in the presence of risk factor exposure. Any patient presenting with cough, sputum production or dyspnoea should be assessed by standardised spirometry. Continued exposure to noxious agents promotes a more rapid decline in lung function and increases the risk for repeated exacerbations, eventually leading to end-stage disease. Without major efforts in prevention, there will be an increasing proportion of end-stage patients who can live longer through long-term oxygen therapy and assisted ventilation, but with elevated suffering and huge costs. Smoking prevention and smoking cessation are the most important epidemiological measurements to counteract chronic obstructive pulmonary disease epidemics.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                05 November 2019
                : 14
                : 2469-2478
                [1 ]Centro de Salud de Menasalbas , Menasalbas, Toledo E-45128, Spain
                [2 ]Pulmonology Department, Hospital San Pedro de Alcántara , Cáceres E-10003, Spain
                [3 ]Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES) , Cáceres, Spain
                [4 ]Pulmonology Department, Hospital de Alta Resolución La Loja , Loja, Granada E-18300, Spain
                [5 ]Grupo Ferrer Internacional , Barcelona, Spain
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Juan Antonio Trigueros Tel +34 686 329 851 Email
                © 2019 Trigueros et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, References: 44, Pages: 10
                Original Research


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