lnerability of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease according to gender in China Original Research (659) Total Article Views Authors: Lou P, Zhu Y, Chen P, Zhang P, Yu J, Zhang N, Zhang L, Wu H, Zhao J, Chen N Published Date December 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 825 - 832 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S37447 Received: 28 August 2012 Accepted: 17 October 2012 Published: 20 December 2012 Peian Lou,1 Yanan Zhu,2 Peipei Chen,1 Pan Zhang,1 Jiaxi Yu,1 Ning Zhang,1 Lei Zhang,1 Hongmin Wu,2 Jing Zhao,2 Na Chen1 1Xuzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2Department of Respiratory Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, Xuzhou, China Background: Little information is available regarding the vulnerability of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in China. We aimed to assess this according to patient gender. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the rural area of Xuzhou in China. We interviewed and administered questionnaires to 2825 male and 2825 female patients with COPD and subjected the data generated to statistical analysis. We compared differences between proportions of male and female patients using the Χ2 test. Results: The rate of current smoking in men was 30.1%, whereas that in women was 10.9%, and 31.5% of men had a history of using biomass fuel compared with 75.3% of women. Further, 26.0% of the male patients and 16.4% of the female patients did not take theophylline regularly when their disease was stable. During acute exacerbations, 65.8% of the male patients and 39.7% of the female patients took theophylline or similar drugs. The average potential shortening of life expectancy was 1.76 years for men and 1.18 years for women. The average indirect economic burden was 11158.4 yuan for men and 7481.2 yuan for women. The quality of life was worse in female patients than in male patients. Conclusion: We found that patients with COPD were vulnerable and that factors determining vulnerability were different for men than for women. Therefore, we recommend adopting different measures for men and women when attempting to prevent, control, and treat COPD, rehabilitate these patients, and improve their quality of life.