Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD for short, is the third deadliest disease among Americans. Only cancer and heart disease kills more people every single year. And now, a new report is showing a trend with more women being diagnosed with the disease than men.
The report was done by the American Lung Association. According to the report, women are 37 percent more likely to suffer from COPD than men. Women also account for half of all deaths linked to COPD.
Right now in the U.S., according to the association, there are more than seven million women with COPD.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, COPD is a chronic and progressive disease that over time makes it harder and harder to breath. Those who suffer from COPD tend to suffer from coughing, shortness of breath, tightness of chest and wheezing.
Cigarette smoke is the No. 1 cause of COPD. In fact, according to the report, the popularity that smoking gained with women in the late 1960s — when the tobacco industry really started to target women — is in part to blame for the increase in the number of women with COPD.
However, it should be noted, cigarette smoking is not the only cause of COPD as there are also other factors, including pollution.
For those with COPD — or any other type of lung disease — understand there may come a day when work is no longer possible. In some cases, even light exertion will not be possible. In these types of cases, social security disability may be available. An attorney who handles such cases can provide more information.
Source: The Post-Standard, “Lung disease now killing more women than men, report shows,” James T. Mulder, June 5, 2013