Today tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the world. For a long time the major smoking-attributable diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary cancers, were perceived as diseases associated with men, in agreement with the cigarette smoking habit delay in women. Since the 1940s, when women started smoking in the United States and later in Europe, the incidence rates for men/women have been dramatically increased to achieve similar rates in the 1990s. Since it is known that COPD takes years to emerge, it was predicted that prevalence rates of COPD for women in the world will exceed those of men in the next 10 years. Cigarette smoking remains the major risk factor even in the developing countries. Recently in China and South America a 20% of COPD attributable to several factors such as ambient urban air pollution, indoor air pollution and occupational exposure has been reported. In the United States since the early 1980s, the number of women who developed lung cancer has increased rapidly so that today lung cancer has overcome in mortality breast cancer. Predictions of deaths attributable to cigarette smoking in both United States and China highlighted the global nature of the problem in the future of the world. Particularly in women, the pattern of smoking-related diseases may be due to the increase in prevalence of cigarette smoking in recent years, as well as their increased survival and their biological specificity. The hypothesis that the nature of biological damage can be different in women is currently explored. A definitive answer to this problem is crucial also for the epidemiological assessment of the future impact of COPD in the world as well as the related therapeutic implications.
|Translated title of the contribution||Women and smoking-related diseases: Mortality and morbidity in Italy and in the rest of the world|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Rassegna di Patologia dell'Apparato Respiratorio|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine