Chronic breathing disease striking Maine women, study finds

Emphysema

More than 48,000 women in Maine, about 8 percent of the state’s population, suffer from a chronic respiratory disease that’s increasingly threatening the health of women across the country, according to a new report.

Women are 37 percent more likely than men to be diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and now account for more than half of all COPD deaths nationally, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Lung Association. The number of deaths from COPD among women has more than quadrupled since 1980, and the disease has claimed the lives of more women than men in the U.S. each year since 2000, the report found.

More than seven million women in the United States currently suffer from COPD.

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