This website uses cookies. By continuing you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

Taking Her Breath Away: The Rise of COPD in Women

Disparities in Lung Health Series

More than 7 million women in the U.S. live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Millions more have the disease, but are undiagnosed, possibly because female COPD patients are commonly misdiagnosed with asthma. In fact, the number of deaths among women from COPD has increased four-fold over the past three decades and, since 2000, more women than men in this country have died of the disease. Additionally, research shows women diagnosed with COPD experience higher rates of anxiety, depression and report lower quality of life.

Driven by these statistics and its commitment to educating the public, protecting lung health and creating solutions to lung health disparities, the American Lung Association, with sponsorship support from Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has issued a public re-release of its 2013 publication "Taking Her Breath Away: The Rise of COPD in Women."

patient-friendly, consumer version of the report is available online and through the Lung HelpLine (1-800-LUNGUSA or 1-800-586-4872), a resource staffed by experienced nurses and respiratory therapists to answer questions about lung disease and offer support. A full version of the report is also available.

Read the Report

    Page Last Updated: July 26, 2017

    Red button with telephone
    Ask An Expert

    Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

    Get help
    Red button of two hand prints
    We need your generous support

    Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

    Button of turquoise LUNG FORCE swirl
    What is LUNG FORCE?

    LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

    Get involved
    Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
    Donate Now.


    Breathe Easy

    Give today and your tax-deductible gift will go TWICE as far for everyone who struggles to breathe.