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PLoS One. 2018 Jan 5;13(1):e0190876. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190876. eCollection 2018.

Absolute lung size and the sex difference in breathlessness in the general population.

Author information

1
Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Institution for Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
2
Department of Respiratory Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
3
Section of Occupational and environmental medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
4
Department of Medical Sciences, Respiratory-, Allergy- and Sleep Research, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
5
The Wallenberg Laboratory, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
6
Department of Cardiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
7
Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
8
Department of Radiology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
9
Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Breathlessness is associated with major adverse health outcomes and is twice as common in women as men in the general population. We evaluated whether this is related to their lower absolute lung volumes.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional analysis of the population-based Swedish CardioPulmonarybioImage Study (SCAPIS) Pilot, including static spirometry and diffusing capacity (n = 1,013; 49% women). Breathlessness was measured using the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) scale and analyzed using ordinal logistic regression adjusting for age, pack-years of smoking, body mass index, chronic airway limitation, asthma, chronic bronchitis, depression and anxiety in all models.

RESULTS:

Breathlessness was twice as common in women as in men; adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.20 (95% confidence interval, 1.32-3.66). Lower absolute lung volumes were associated with increased breathlessness prevalence in both men and women. The sex difference in breathlessness was unchanged when adjusting for lung function in %predicted, but disappeared when controlling for absolute values of total lung capacity (OR 1.12; 0.59-2.15), inspiratory capacity (OR 1.26; 0.68-2.35), forced vital capacity (OR 0.84; 0.42-1.66), forced expiratory volume in one second (OR 0.70; 0.36-1.35) or lung diffusing capacity (OR 1.07; 0.58-1.97).

CONCLUSION:

In the general population, the markedly higher prevalence of breathlessness in women is related to their smaller absolute lung volumes.

PMID:
29304074
PMCID:
PMC5755925
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0190876
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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