Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women More Susceptible To Harmful Effects Of Smoking, Study Finds

Date:
May 19, 2009
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Women may be more susceptible to the lung damaging effects of smoking than men, according to a study of COPD patients in Norway.

Women may be more susceptible to the lung damaging effects of smoking than men, according to new research by Inga-Cecilie Soerheim, M.D., and her colleagues from Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital and University of Bergen, Norway. They analyzed data from a Norwegian case-control study including 954 subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 955 controls. All were current- or ex-smokers, and the COPD subjects had moderate or severe COPD.

"Overall our analysis indicated that women may be more vulnerable to the effects of smoking, which is something previously suspected but not proven," said Dr. Soerheim.

The study results will be presented on May 18 at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego.

Examining the total study sample, there were no gender differences with respect to lung function (FEV1) and COPD severity, but the women were on average younger and had smoked significantly less than men.

To explore these differences further, they also analyzed two subgroups of the study sample: COPD subjects under the age of 60 (early onset group) and COPD subjects with less than 20 pack-years of smoking (low exposure group). In both subgroups, women had more severe disease and greater impairment of lung function than men.

"This means that female smokers in our study experienced reduced lung function at a lower level of smoking exposure and at an earlier age than men," said Dr. Soerheim.

It has long been suspected that the effect of smoking on lung function may be modified by gender. Interaction analysis confirmed that being female represents a higher risk of reduced lung function and severe COPD, but this gender effect was most pronounced when the level of smoking exposure was low.

"The gender difference in COPD susceptibility seems to be most important when smoking exposure is low. Women may tolerate small amounts of tobacco worse than men," Dr. Soerheim explained.

According to Dr. Soerheim, the reason why women may be more susceptible to the effects of cigarette smoke is still unknown, but there are several possible explanations: "Women have smaller airways; therefore each cigarette may do more harm. Also, there are gender differences in the metabolism of cigarette smoke. Genes and hormones could also be important."

"Many people believe that their own smoking is too limited to be harmful–that a few cigarettes a day represent a minimal risk. However, in the low exposure group in this study, half of the women actually had severe COPD. Clearly, there is no such thing as a safe exposure to cigarette smoke. Our findings suggest that this is particularly true for female smokers," concluded Dawn DeMeo, M.D., M.P.H., of Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, the senior author of the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Women More Susceptible To Harmful Effects Of Smoking, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090518172435.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2009, May 19). Women More Susceptible To Harmful Effects Of Smoking, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090518172435.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Women More Susceptible To Harmful Effects Of Smoking, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090518172435.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins