Highlights from

ERS 2019

The ERS International Congress 2019

Madrid, Spain 28 September - 2 October 2019

Female COPD patients frequently suffer from anxiety and depression

Female chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients have different comorbidities than men. In particular, psychiatric diseases are far more common compared with male patients [1].

According to a previously published meta-analysis, numerous differences can be identified between male and female COPD patients in different aspects of the disease [2]. Female patients are more likely to be misdiagnosed, potentially leading to suboptimal treatment. In general, women are younger, smoke less, and have a lower body mass index (BMI) than men. At the same level of tobacco smoke exposure, they experience greater harm. COPD patients often have a very low socioeconomic status, but the status of female patients is lower compared with male patients [2].

A study presented at ERS 2019 assessed possible differences in the comorbidity of male and female COPD patients in the French Palomb cohort [1]. Data from 2,653 COPD patients was collected including age, sex, BMI, dyspnoea, the frequency of exacerbations, and comorbidities.

Compared with male COPD patients, female patients were younger, more likely to be current cigarette smokers, and suffered more often from dyspnoea. The percentage of patients with 2 or more exacerbations per year was significantly higher in female patients (30.7% vs 22.93 % in males; P<0.0001). More than 30% of women were underweight compared with only 9.97% of men (P<0.0001). A highly statistically significant difference was also noted with regard to comorbidities. Female patients suffered more from anxiety than men (20.78% vs 10.44%, respectively; P<0.0001), and 22.15% of women compared with 9.15% of men with COPD suffered from depression (P<0.0001).

The authors conclude that their results are reflective of the commonly found factors of poor prognosis in women with COPD. They experience frequent exacerbations, are underweight, and often suffer from psychiatric comorbidities.

Keywords: COPD; Women; Diagnostic Errors; Palomb; Comorbidity

  1. Ouaalaya EH, et al. PA4424, ERS 2019, 29 Sept-2 Oct, Madrid, Spain.
  2. Jenkins CR, et al. Chest 2017:151:686-96.

Top image: @ iStockPhoto: sudok1

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