Taking Her Breath Away: The Rise of COPD in Women

Disparities in Lung Health Series

More than 7 million women in the U.S. live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Millions more have the disease, but are undiagnosed, possibly because female COPD patients are commonly misdiagnosed with asthma. In fact, the number of deaths among women from COPD has increased four-fold over the past three decades and, since 2000, more women than men in this country have died of the disease. Additionally, research shows women diagnosed with COPD experience higher rates of anxiety, depression and report lower quality of life.

Driven by these statistics and its commitment to educating the public, protecting lung health and creating solutions to lung health disparities, the American Lung Association, with sponsorship support from Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has issued a public re-release of its 2013 publication "Taking Her Breath Away: The Rise of COPD in Women."

A patient-friendly, consumer version of the report is available online and through the Lung HelpLine (1-800-LUNGUSA or 1-800-586-4872), a resource staffed by experienced nurses and respiratory therapists to answer questions about lung disease and offer support. A full version of the report is also available.

Read the Report

Page last updated: March 10, 2020

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