Gender differences in survival following hospitalisation for COPD
- 1Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit, Montreal Chest Institute, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada
- 2Center for Clinical Epidemiology, Sir Mortimer B Davis Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
- 3Pulmonary Division, Sir Mortimer B Davis Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
- Correspondence to Anne V Gonzalez, Montreal Chest Institute, 3650 St-Urbain Street K1.09, Montreal, Quebec H2X 2P4, Canada;
- Received 6 May 2010
- Accepted 30 September 2010
- Published Online First 26 November 2010
Background Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Gender differences in the clinical expression of COPD are increasingly recognised, but outcome differences have not been systematically examined. Gender differences in survival and rate of rehospitalisation were investigated in a large cohort of elderly patients with chronic airflow obstruction hospitalised for COPD.
Methods The databases from the Québec provincial health insurance plan were used. The study population included subjects aged >66 years who received ≥3 prescriptions for respiratory medications in any 1-year period between 1 January 1990 and 31 December 2001. The study cohort consisted of patients with a first hospitalisation for COPD, after selection into the study population. Patients were followed until death or 31 December 2003. The Kaplan–Meier method was used to estimate time to death and time to first hospitalisation for obstructive airways disease (COPD or asthma). The Cox proportional hazards model was used to determine the effect of male gender on all-cause mortality and rehospitalisation.
Results The cohort consisted of 19 260 women and 23 893 men with a mean age of 77 years. 11 245 (58.4%) women and 16 754 (70.1%) men died after cohort entry. Male sex was associated with a significantly increased risk of death (adjusted HR 1.45, 95% CI 1.42 to 1.49) and with a significantly increased risk of rehospitalisation for obstructive airways disease (adjusted HR 1.12, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.15).
Conclusion Mean survival and time to rehospitalisation for obstructive airways disease are significantly better for female patients.
Funding AVG was the recipient of a CLA/CIHR/GSK fellowship.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.