Women more susceptible to smoking lungs

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Women are more likely to suffer from a smoking lung

Women are more susceptible to smoking. The smoking lung, referred to in the jargon as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a widespread disease in Germany today, from which around eight to ten percent of the population suffer, reported doctors at this year's Internist Congress (118th Annual Congress of the German Society for Internal Medicine) in Wiesbaden .

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, colloquially referred to as smoker's cough or smoker's lung, is the fourth leading cause of death in Germany, according to the experts. Women are significantly more vulnerable than men. With the same cigarette consumption, they suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease much faster, explained Professor Adrian Gillesen, Director of the Clinic for Lung and Bronchial Medicine at the Kassel Clinic, at the end of the internist congress on Tuesday.

Cough and shortness of breath typical signs of a smoking lung Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is characterized by constant coughing, increased secretion and shortness of breath. The cough usually occurs in the early stages of COPD only in the morning after getting up or under stress, but increases with time. At the beginning, shortness of breath is also limited to situations of physical stress, but as the disease progresses, it can also occur in everyday activities such as climbing stairs. Those affected are quickly out of breath and exhausted. In the long term, COPD threatens irreversible damage to the lungs, which in the worst case can result in the death of the patient. The most common cause of COPD is smoking. Approximately new out of ten COPD patients are smokers, which is why the disease is also known as smoker's cough or smoker's lung. The disease is typically determined by the interaction of three different respiratory diseases: chronic bronchitis, chronic bronchiolitis and pulmonary emphysema.

Women develop a smoking lung more quickly As the experts reported at the internist congress, women with the same cigarette consumption as men tend to smoke much earlier. Professor Adrian Gillesen explained that women are obviously the "more sensitive smokers". Statistics show that, purely mathematically, a woman who consumes a box of cigarettes every day after 20 years is at the same risk of smoking as men after 30 years. "They suffer from the same disease, but they smoke less every day," explained Prof. Gillissen. The director of the Clinic for Lung and Bronchial Medicine in Kassel explained that despite the tightened legislation, the common disease COPD is likely to increase in the coming years, with women tending to be more affected than men. Although German legislation has helped to significantly reduce the proportion of smokers in recent years, this only has a long-term effect on chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Due to the long lead time, falling numbers of cases are not to be expected for the time being, but rather a further increase in the number of illnesses, especially among women, emphasized Prof. Gillissen.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in principle avoidable According to the expert, the spread of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is particularly annoying, since this is a disease "that is basically preventable." That COPD has become one of the most common causes of death in Germany unacceptable. The tightened legislation could only be the first step on the way to curbing COPD. Prof. Gillissen advises those affected to see a doctor as soon as possible. "If a smoker has shortness of breath, he should go to the doctor," warned the director of the Clinic for Lung and Bronchial Medicine at the Kassel Clinic. With increasing age, caution should be exercised, since most smokers only develop COPD over the age of 40. According to the expert, women in particular should pay particular attention to the relevant symptoms before the age of 40 due to their susceptibility to a smoking lung. (fp)

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