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Research Project

Gender aspects in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

Principal Investigator:
Franziska Trudzinski
Thoraxklinik Heidelberg gGmbH
Heidelberg, Germany
Start date:
December 2023
Contact E-mail:
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Data on gender differences in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) suggest that women are at particular risk of developing COPD. A growing body of epidemiological data suggests that women are much more susceptible than men to the harmful effects of cigarette smoke. It is estimated that women who smoke are 50% more likely to develop COPD than men who smoke, In line with these assumptions, women are overrepresented in the never-smoking group in clinical studies and COPD cohorts.
In addition, COPD, which is often seen as a disease of older men, is still underdiagnosed in women. Women also have a different perception of the disease, often report different symptoms than men. Despite having the same lung function, they often have a higher symptom burden and exacerbation rate.


The aim is to analyse gender-specific aspects in the EARCO cohort. To this end, cross-sectional analyses of all patients for whom information on gender is available are planned. The following questions are to be answered

 1) Are there differences between men and women in terms of awareness of AATD, time of diagnosis, functional limitations at initial diagnosis, referral to a specialist, diagnostic work-up (lung function, CT chest, elastography, etc.) and initiation of augmentation therapy?

 2) Are there gender differences in symptoms, frequency and severity of exacerbations, risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol and exposure? The extent and characteristics of lung disease (asthma, COPD, bronchiectasis) and the pattern of comorbidities?


Inclusion criteria

Analysis of baseline data to define demographic and clinical characteristics between women and men of patients included in the EARCO registry

Brief summary

A detailed description of the data will be conducted; in particular, gender aspects will be compared in relation to clinical outcomes. Risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol and exposure, genotype, serum AAT levels and comorbidities will be compared with functional outcomes, lung function, diffusion capacity, 6-minute walk distance, physical activity, health-related quality of life and symptoms. Group comparisons, linear and logistic regression analyses, and factor analyses will be performed as appropriate.