Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder in adult Chinese women

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-15, 13:09 authored by Alexander Bonte, Lisa Gilmore, Kalu Long, Jessica Pian, Natalie Smith, Jason Royal

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) is a major cause of increasing mortality and morbidity worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where 90% of deaths attributed to COPD occur. In China, the prevalence of COPD is 8.2% and there is a disproportionately high mortality rate due to COPD. Chinese women in particular experience specific risk factors, such as lifestyle and occupational exposures, and are a historically understudied and underdiagnosed demographic. Opportunities for interventions specifically targeted at women are of special interest in China.

Objective: The aim of this review is to examine the existing literature to quantify the disease burden of COPD on Chinese females, to determine their specific risk factors, and to evaluate evidence-based public health interventions at both local and national levels to mitigate the disease burden on this demographic.

Methods: A comprehensive literature review was performed in the electronic databases of MEDLINE PubMed and Cochrane Library, using the search terms COPD, China, and female/women. Articles not available in English were removed from the analysis.

Results: The prevalence of COPD in Chinese women is 5.1%. Public health interventions such as the provision of cleaner stoves to improve household ventilation and early screening programmes to diagnose COPD have proven effective in both Chinese populations and in other countries. The Chinese national health system response has been largely inadequate in meeting international standards recommended to decrease the incidence of COPD.

Conclusions: The incidence and mortality of COPD, particularly in Chinese women, is a growing concern. Public health interventions have demonstrated the potential for success in Chinese populations. Additional effective public health interventions are needed to mitigate the incidence, morbidity, and mortality of COPD, particularly for women. Nationwide large-scale studies of epidemiological data are urgently needed to better inform public health decision-making



The original article is available at Part of the RCSIsmj collection:

Published Citation

Bonte A. et al. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder in adult Chinese women. RCSIsmj. 2019;12(1):50-55

Publication Date



  • Undergraduate Research


RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences


  • Published Version (Version of Record)