More than four in ten women who have asthma eventually develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study from the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Toronto in Canada that was published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.
The researchers monitored 4,051 women with asthma for an average of about 14 years after their asthma diagnosis. During the study period, 1,701 (42 percent) of the women developed a condition called asthma and COPD overlap syndrome, or ACOS. People with ACOS experience more exacerbations and hospitalizations and have a lower quality of life than those with asthma or COPD alone, say the Canadian researchers.
The factors identified in the study as increasing ACOS risk are smoking, obesity, living in a rural area, low education levels, and unemployment — some of which are modifiable with lifestyle changes. Study results indicate that these factors play a bigger role in the development of asthma and COPD overlap syndrome than air pollution exposure — specifically, exposure to fine particulates in the air.
Sourced from: Annals of the American Thoracic Society