The raising epidemic of COPD in women

Venu Mandava, Nageswara Rao Gopathi, Raju V. N., Usha Rani N.


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) represents an important public health challenge that is both preventable and treatable. Although it is more frequently observed in males, the number of females with COPD is on the rise due to either active smoking or passive exposure and biomass fuel combustion.

Methods: It is a cross sectional study comprising forty female patients with signs and symptoms of COPD and graded according to Global association for obstructive lung diseases (GOLD) spirometry strategy. For all the enrolled patients, clinical history was taken and investigations like chest X-ray, Spirometry, Six minute walk distance test (6MWD) and BODE index was assessed.

Results: The majority of cases (72.5%) belong to fifth to sixth decade. Most of cases were from rural area. 85% of the COPD females were smokers. Among non smokers biomass fuel is major risk factor. COPD is common in patients with smoking history of more than 20 years. Duration of exposure to biomass fuel exceeded 45 years in the COPD subjects. The mean 6MWD was 311 meters suggesting low exercise capacity. Most of the patients with severe COPD have BODE score >7 with poor prognosis.

Conclusions: This study recognizes the prevalence of reverse chutta smoking among the COPD females and the risk of biomass exposure in the development of COPD in women, especially from rural areas. Identification and control of the risk factors are important steps in prevention and treatment of COPD.



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Six-minute walk distance test (6MWD), Biomass fuel, Spirometry, Chutta smoker

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