Today we celebrate women around the world. Today we encourage women with COPD to take care of themselves, as always. Today is International Women’s Day.
Many people think COPD affects men more than women. But according to recent data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women were more likely to report COPD than men (6.7% compared with 5.2%).
“Recognizing symptoms early and acting on them are vital for a brighter COPD prognosis. Women with COPD are more likely than men with COPD to experience shortness of breath and reduced airway sensitivity, and to have coexisting conditions such as anxiety and depression. Women are more likely to experience anxiety than men because of the shortness of breath and also the fact that women tend to be more connected with their body and emotions,” according to an article from EverydayHealth.com.
So we encourage women to take more proactive measures to work with their doctors.
- Don’t downplay symptoms. A cough and shortness of breath may not just be signs of aging. Call your doctor and ask them any questions you have, or call our C.O.P.D. Information Line at 866-316-2673 and talk to them about what you’re experiencing.
- Request lung function testing. Spirometry can provide a COPD diagnosis, but because it’s not currently recommended as a screening test, you’ll have to ask for it.
- Quit smoking. Quitting smoking is hard, but pulmonologist MeiLan Han, MD, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan says that a woman’s lungs might actually see a greater benefit from quitting than men’s do.
- Enroll in pulmonary rehabilitation. You can learn how to be active, how to eat right, and manage your daily activities with COPD.