Trends in COPD mortality and in-patient admissions in men & women: evidence of convergence.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of mortality. Although more prevalent in men, it is anticipated that, due to the convergence in smoking rates, the prevalence rate in women will surpass that of men. There were 14,519 deaths attributable to COPD in the period 2000-2009. Although deaths decreased for both sexes, reduction in deaths was significantly higher among men (test for trend, p<0.01 for men vs. p=0.06 for women).
Smoking rates decreased for both sexes from 1980-2009 with the percentage reduction in smoking significantly greater in men (11.5% vs. 7.0%, p<0.001). There has been a convergence in COPD deaths and COPD hospital in-patient discharges for men and women that mirrors the trend in the convergence of male and female smoking rates. This study provides evidence of the need for effective smoking cessation programmes that are targeted at women as well as men.