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Moderate-to-severe COPD exacerbation more common in women than men

30 May 2019

Women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at higher risk of exacerbations despite evidence for milder disease at diagnosis compared with men, a study reports.

Researchers used data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink and linked Hospital Episode Statistics and identified 22,429 COPD patients (48 percent female). Relative to men, women were younger, more likely to be current or nonsmokers, and had lower body mass index, better lung function (as expressed by FEV1% predicted), worse mMRC dyspnoea scale scores and lower blood eosinophils.

Additionally, asthma, anxiety, depression and osteoporosis were more prevalent in women, while cardiovascular comorbidities (myocardial infarction, heart failure and atrial fibrillation) were more common in men.

The risk of first moderate or severe exacerbation was greater by 17 percent in women than in men (hazard ratio [HR], 1.17, 95 percent CI, 1.12–1.23). First exacerbation was also more likely to occur sooner in women (median time, 504 vs 637 days).

The observed differences were more evident among patients in the younger age group (≥40 to <65 years), in GOLD 2016 groups B, C and D, and in those with moderate-to-severe airflow obstruction.

In the first, second and third years of follow-up, the annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations remained higher in women than men.

The present data underscore the unmet need for appropriate identification and management of women with COPD in clinical practice, researchers said.

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Most Read Articles
Elvira Manzano, 4 days ago

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