Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of chronic (long-term) lung disease that includes emphysema and, often, chronic bronchitis. COPD can make it difficult to breathe. Women may be more likely to develop COPD from smoking or, very rarely, from exposure to pollution or chemicals. You can treat COPD with medicines, but COPD is a lifelong disease that usually gets worse over time. You can also take steps to prevent COPD.
How does COPD affect women’s health?
Women living with COPD often have other health problems, including:
a. Asthma: Many women with COPD also have asthma, another type of lung disease.
b. Osteoporosis: This condition is more common in women, but more than half of people with COPD have osteoporosis. Experts are not sure why this is. It may be related to steroid medicines that are sometimes used to treat COPD. But some studies show that COPD is a risk factor for osteoporosis even without medicine.
c. Anxiety and depression: Anxiety and depression also affect many women with COPD. 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.
d. Heart disease: Researchers think that COPD may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the blood vessels. This inflammation can make blood vessels stiff and increase the risk for plaque buildup. Over time, this can lead to heart disease.
Women with COPD may also have other health problems caused by smoking or secondhand smoke. These include lung cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Source: Office on Women’s Health