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Introduction: A growing body of evidence indicates that prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been increasing more rapidly among women compared to men, but the available data on the differences between the sexes in the responses to the various COPD therapies are still scarce.Areas covered: The aim of this narrative review is to provide an overview of current knowledge on sex differences in COPD management.Expert opinion: There is no solid evidence of sex differences in response to usual COPD treatments but there are sex-related differences in management of patients with a clinical diagnosis of COPD. It is difficult to explain the reason for these differences, but most likely they are due to local prescribing habits, rather than solid scientific reasons. However, there are also signals of different sex-related responses, the qualification and quantification of which is difficult with the information currently available. These signals should lead to the inclusion of more women in clinical trials, but also to the design of prospective clinical studies to assess the possible differences linked to sex in COPD treatment responses, whose identification is an important step toward the definition of personalized COPD therapy.


Maria Gabriella Matera, Josuel Ora, Luigino Calzetta, Paola Rogliani, Mario Cazzola. Sex differences in COPD management. Expert review of clinical pharmacology. 2021 Mar;14(3):323-332

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PMID: 33560876

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