ERS statement responds to the disturbing rise of respiratory diseases amongst women

ERS statement responds to the disturbing rise of respiratory diseases amongst women - article image

To mark International Women’s Day, which is celebrated annually on 8 March, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) has released a statement on women and respiratory diseases. The statement highlights the growing concern that respiratory diseases amongst women are increasing. It makes five key recommendations, alongside calling for a more intense focus at all levels to address this burgeoning issue.

The statement emphasises the disparity between women’s health generally and respiratory health specifically, by noting that, in terms of overall health, there has never been a better time to be born female. It notes that the contrasting situation in respiratory health demands attention to the female aspects of respiratory disease, including looking more intensely at the scientific and societal factors behind women becoming more susceptible.

ERS Advocacy Council Chair Prof. Arzu Yorgancioğlu notes: “We can clearly see how women’s health has improved across a number of areas. We see significant reduction in mortality rates linked to pregnancy and childbirth and we know that women are living longer, healthier lives. This makes the increase in respiratory diseases even more glaring and indicates that we need to put women’s respiratory health in the spotlight and focus more specifically on sex and gender to determine the scientific and societal factors in play.”

The recommendations outlined in the statement include faster fostering of research in this area; the implementation of sex, gender and diversity-sensitive best practices and guidelines; adopting new approaches to sex and gender across multiple levels (medical training, clinical medicine, epidemiology, drug development and basic research); ensuring precision medicine and digital health address respiratory diseases in women; and an acceleration of inclusion of women at the highest levels of respiratory medicine.

“We must all be hyperaware of the need for equity in healthcare. No person, regardless of sex, gender or background should be left behind as we make advances in treatments, systems and technology.”

Read the full statement and supplementary summaries