Please join us in celebrating the contributions of women across the United States during Women’s History Month (March 1 – March 31). Women’s History Month began in 1981 as an annual week of recognition before the National Women’s History Project successfully campaigned for March to be designated as National Women’s History Month.1 During the month of celebration, International Women’s Day is also recognized on March 8, bringing awareness to the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the globe. This day also marks a call to action for women’s equality.2
This year in recognition of Women’s History Month, the American Lung Association is highlighting staff and volunteers from the American Lung Association who have contributed to the effort to eliminate lung disease, as well as lung health statistics and resources available focused on the lung health of women.
Female Lung Health Researchers
Read our blog about women in lung health research and the groundbreaking work they are doing.
Women’s Lung Health
- Lung Cancer’s Impact on Black Men and Women
- The rate of new lung cancer cases (incidence) over the past 44 years has dropped 43% for men while it has risen 79% for women.3
- The rate of new lung cancer diagnosis in women is 4 per 100,000 people and the death rate is 29 per 100,000 people.4
Learn more about lung cancer in women in our annual State of Lung Cancer report.
- Asthma is more prevalent among women than men. While the specific percentages vary, this is true for white, Black and Latino populations.5
- A gender disparity is well-established in asthma and changes throughout life.6
- As children, boys have an increased prevalence of asthma compared to girls (11.9% vs. 7.5%, respectively), and boys are also twice as likely as girls to be hospitalized for an asthma exacerbation. However, during adolescence there is a decline in asthma prevalence and morbidity in males concurrent with an increase in females.7
- More women than men have COPD. Women also develop COPD at a younger age (often between 45 and 64). Men are more likely to die from COPD than women, although more women die from the disease than men due to the female population being larger.8
- In one study, women with COPD had higher levels of anxiety and depression compared with both men with COPD and women who did not have COPD.9
Fuseini H, Newcomb DC. Mechanisms Driving Gender Differences in Asthma. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2017 Mar;17(3):19. doi: 1007/s11882-017-0686-1. PMID: 28332107; PMCID: PMC5629917.
Fuseini H, Newcomb DC. Mechanisms Driving Gender Differences in Asthma. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2017 Mar;17(3):19. doi: 10.1007/s11882-017-0686-1. PMID: 28332107; PMCID: PMC5629917.
American Lung Association. (2013). Taking her breath away: The rise of COPD in women .
Anxiety and depression in COPD patients: The roles of gender and disease severity. Respiratory Medicine (2006) 100, pages 1767–1774 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16531031/
Page last updated: February 27, 2023