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Warning on lung disease in women
[Posted: Thu 20/10/2011 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
Irish researchers have warned that the incidence of the serious lung disease COPD among women will surpass the rate among men over the next decade.
This they say, is due to the fact that COPD is largely caused by heavy smoking, and the fall in smoking rates among Irish women has been less than smoking rate reduction in men.
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a general term for a number of chronic lung disorders including bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic airway disease.
Researchers from the HSE and TCD say that while COPD is currently more prevalent in Irish men, the convergence in smoking rates will lead to an increased prevalence in women.
While the death rate from COPD has decreased over the past decade, the decrease has been greater in men than in women.
The researchers point out too that smoking rates decreased for both sexes from 1980 to 2009 but the percentage reduction in smoking has been significantly greater in men than in women.
The point out too, that women are more susceptible to COPD in response to smoking when exposed to the same amount of tobacco exposure as men, and women are more likely to develop more severe and earlier onset COD than men.
The study says there were 14,509 deaths in Ireland attributable to COPD over the period 2000-2009, and it is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide.
The research also highlights the pressure COPD puts on hospital services, with lengthy patient stays and repeat admissions being common.
The study, published in the Irish Medical Journal, says there is a need for effective smoking cessation programmes targeted at women as well as men.
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