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In COPD, Men More Likely to Have Severe Emphysema

At all stages of severity, men have significantly more computed tomography emphysema

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), men are more likely than women to have more extensive computed tomography emphysema at all stages of severity, according to research published in the August issue of Chest.

Mark T. Dransfield, M.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues studied 396 patients, including 246 men and 150 women. All were current and former smokers enrolled in the National Lung Screening Trial.

The researchers found that men had more regional and total computed tomography emphysema than women at stage 0 (3.9 percent versus 2.4 percent), stage I (7 percent versus 3.7 percent), stage II (7.8 percent versus 5.5 percent), and stages III/IV (15.8 percent versus 8.7 percent). Their multivariate regression analysis found that only gender and the forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity ratio predicted the total percentage of low attenuation areas.

"These data argue that computed tomography emphysema develops more quickly in men than in women and that smoking alone does not explain the discrepancy," the authors conclude. "It is possible that this gender difference in radiologic expression of COPD may in part explain the differences between men and women in the natural history of the disease. Gender differences in the pathophysiology and treatment of COPD warrant additional study."

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