St. Luke's Hospital
Located in Chesterfield, MO
Main Number: 314-434-1500
Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
News Releases
About Us
Locations & Directions
Download Our Logo - ZIP
Download Photos - ZIP
Baby Bunting Photo Gallery
Release of Patient Information under HIPAA - PDF
St. Luke's Hospital in the News
News Media Contact
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment

In The News

Dr. Neil Ettinger, St. Luke's Hospital

COPD in women is on the rise

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases and is the third leading cause of death in the United States. For several years now, women have outpaced men in terms of deaths related to the disease. COPD actually includes two types of conditions: chronic bronchitis, a chronic cough accompanied by mucus formation, and emphysema, a respiratory disease characterized by the destruction of air sacs and trapping of air in the lungs. In many cases, those with COPD have both chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Smoking is one of the leading risk factors for COPD, with approximately 90 percent of deaths caused by smoking. In fact, female smokers are approximately 13 times more likely to die from COPD than women who have never smoked. Other risk factors for COPD include air pollution, secondhand smoke, dusts, chemicals, genetics, childhood respiratory infections and socioeconomic factors.

A recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that the incidence of COPD in women is on the rise. It found that more than six percent of women now have the disease, while four percent of men suffer from it. Researchers believe the reason for the increase in women who have COPD is due to the number of women who started smoking in the 1970s and 1980s.

Although there is no cure for COPD, there are treatment options to help once it is diagnosed. The diagnosis is often made with a chest x-ray and pulmonary function tests and when symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough and multiple respiratory infections are present. Treatment can help ease or relieve symptoms. They include bronchodilators to open the airways, inhaled steroids, oral anti-inflammatory medications, oxygen, nebulized medications and, in some cases, lung transplantation or volume reduction surgery.

People with COPD may also participate in pulmonary rehabilitation to help improve their endurance and stay active. Exercise can help to maintain or even build strength, but they should consult with their doctors or therapists before beginning any activity. Of course, smoking cessation is the key to stabilizing the disease. Clinical trials help identify new medications for the treatment of COPD and are available as an option for most patients.

Dr. Neil Ettinger is a pulmonologist at St. Luke's Hospital. To learn more about COPD or to participate in a COPD study, call 314-439-LUNG (5864) or visit the CardioPulmonary Research Center page.

This article was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on July 26, 2012.

Back  |  Top
About Us
Contact Us
Locations & Directions
Quality Reports
Annual Reports
Honors & Awards
Community Health Needs

Brain & Spine
Sleep Medicine
Urgent Care
Women's Services
All Services
Patients & Visitors
Locations & Directions
Find a Physician
Tour St. Luke's
Patient & Visitor Information
Contact Us
Payment Options
Financial Assistance
Send a Card
Mammogram Appointments
Health Tools
My Personal Health
Spirit of Women
Health Information & Tools
Clinical Trials
Employer Programs -
Passport to Wellness

Classes & Events
Classes & Events
Spirit of Women
Donate & Volunteer
Giving Opportunities
Physicians & Employees
For Physicians
Remote Access
Medical Residency Information
Pharmacy Residency Information
Physician CPOE Training
St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Notice of Privacy Practices PDF  |  Patient Rights PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile