The silent epidemic among Wisconsin women: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease trends, 1980-2000

Nicholas M. Edwards, Melissa Umland, David Ahrens, Patrick Remington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate trends in mortality from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Wisconsin. Methods: COPD mortality data for those 45 years of age and older were extracted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention WONDER database and analyzed. Rates were adjusted to the 2000 US Census. Results: In Wisconsin, the mortality rate from COPD increased by 88% between 1980 and 2000. A similar increase in COPD mortality occurred in the United States during this same period. Among Wisconsin males, the 33% increase from 1980-2000 was higher than the increase for US males. Likewise, the rate among Wisconsin females increased 3.9 times compared to an increase of 2.8 among US females. Unlike men, mortality increased in all age groups of women from 1980 to 2000. Conclusions: COPD mortality rates are increasing dramatically in Wisconsin, especially among women. Long-term trends in smoking do not explain the increases in COPD death rates among women. Other possible reasons include changes in the pattern of smoking or in the type of cigarette smoked, or women may be more susceptible to lung disease. Wisconsin physicians should target women for diagnosis and treatment of COPD and for smoking cessation and prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalWisconsin medical journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

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