Women with COPD are often never smokers, have better lung function tests

  • Choi JY & al.
  • Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
  • 01/01/2020

  • Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Women with COPD are far more likely than men to be never smokers, have worse bronchiectasis, and have severe symptoms but less obstruction on pulmonary lung function tests.
  • Results are from the Korea COPD Subgroup Study (KOCOSS).

Why this matters

  • Findings could raise awareness among primary care clinicians of sex-based features of COPD, beyond generalized risk factors.

Study design

  • Multicenter cohort study (N=2515) of patients with COPD aged >40 years with postbronchodilator FEV1/FVC ≤70% of normal predicted value.
  • Funding: Research of Korea CDC.

Key results

  • Compared with men, women were:
    • More likely to be never smokers (60.5% vs 3.7%; P<.01>
    • Less likely to be current smokers (12.6% vs 28.0%; P<.01>
    • More likely to have a history of bronchiectasis (12% vs 7.2%; P=.02).
    • More likely to have had respiratory infection in childhood (32.7% vs 18.5%; P<.01>
    • More likely to have a history of asthma (44.1% vs 31.2%; P<.01>
  • Women also were more likely to have severe symptoms on the modified Medical Research Council questionnaire (1.6 vs 1.3; P<.01 and copd assessment test vs p=".02).</li">
  • In addition, women were more likely to have higher:
    • Postbronchodilator FEV1% predicted (66.2% vs 61.6%; P<.01>
    • FEV1/FVC (55.9% vs 50.8%; P<.01>
    • Residual volume/total lung capacity (47.0% vs 43.8%; P=.02).

Limitations

  • Cross-sectional, observational.
  • Generalizability unclear.