Just breathe: a review of sex and gender in chronic lung disease

Ranjani Somayaji (Lead / Corresponding author), James D. Chalmers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
113 Downloads (Pure)


Chronic lung diseases are the third leading cause of death worldwide and are increasing in prevalence over time. Although much of our traditional understanding of health and disease is derived from study of the male of the species - be it animal or human - there is increasing evidence that sex and gender contribute to differences in disease risk, prevalence, presentation, severity, treatment approach, response and outcomes. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and bronchiectasis represent the most prevalent and studied chronic lung diseases and have key sex- and gender-based differences which are critical to consider and incorporate into clinical and research approaches. Mechanistic differences present opportunities for therapeutic development whereas behavioural and clinical differences on the part of patients and providers present opportunities for greater education and understanding at multiple levels. In this review, we seek to summarise the sex- and gender-based differences in key chronic lung diseases and outline the clinical and research implications for stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number210111
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Respiratory Review
Issue number163
Early online date12 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022


  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases/diagnosis
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/diagnosis


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