Tennessee Women Far More Likely To Have COPD Than Men

Jun 5, 2013

A lung x-ray shows a severe case of COPD
Credit James Heilman, MD

A new data analysis by the American Lung Association shows women in Tennessee are nearly twice as likely as men to suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD.  Often related to smoking, COPD is the name given to a group of incurable lung ailments that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.  The study, released today, reports the prevalence of COPD among American women is rapidly approaching the rate for men. In Tennessee, the prevalence rates aren't even close; the rate among women is nearly twice the rate among men (291,441 women to 154,769 men).  In addition, COPD is proving deadlier to women.  Since 2000, more American women than men die from COPD every year.  The study suggests changing gender roles and an increased smoking rate among women may help to explain the shift.