Panels to review distinct effects of lung and sleep disorders in women

Sex differences can greatly influence risk, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. Two sessions at CHEST 2023 will specifically address how women’s health is affected in lung diseases and sleep disorders.

Anita Rajagopal, MD, FCCP
Anita Rajagopal, MD, FCCP

Session Chair, Anita Rajagopal, MD, FCCP, will lead the panel discussion, Women and Lung Disease: Sex-Distinct Care, on Sunday from 9:30 am to 10:30 am, in Room 313C at the convention center. This session will review presentation and management of four of the main lung diseases that present more commonly in women: catamenial disease, lymphangioleiomyomatosis, pulmonary hypertension, and obstructive lung disease. This session will also address pulmonary disease disparity in women.

“Some pulmonary diseases occur disproportionately—or almost exclusively—in women,” Dr. Rajagopal said. “These diseases are often not in the spotlight.”

The session will provide valuable information on risk, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes in these pulmonary diseases, which may be underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed by clinicians due to their relative rarity or due to clinical manifestations that mimic those seen with other respiratory diseases.

“It is important to prevent diagnostic delays in women since treatment options can be more limited for diseases at a later stage of disease,” Dr. Rajagopal said. “This session closes that gap for attendees.”

Sex differences in pulmonary diseases have gained more attention in recent years, and there is growing evidence that several of these diseases affect women differently and with greater severity than men.

Presentations in the session include:

  • Catamenial Disease in Women – Anita Rajagopal, MD, FCCP, Community Health Network
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) in Women – Marilyn Glassberg, MD, FCCP, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
  • Pulmonary Hypertension in Women – Tim Lahm, MD, National Jewish Health
  • Obstructive Lung Disease in Women – Stephanie Levine, MD, FCCP, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
Ghada Bourjeily, MD, FCCP
Ghada Bourjeily, MD, FCCP

Session Chair, Ghada Bourjeily, MD, FCCP, will lead the panel discussion, Women’s Sleep Health: An Update on Sleep Disorders in Women, on Monday from 3 pm to 4 pm, in Room 316B.

Sleep disorders are prevalent in our society, and differences in sex and gender may complicate the clinical presentation, diagnostic strategies, and clinical outcomes of such disorders, including sleep-disordered breathing, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome. Pharmacologic therapy may need to be modified in certain circumstances and during pregnancy.

Presenters will cover common disorders and the ways they present differently in women compared with men and some biological differences in disease or treatment response. The symposium will discuss terminology of sex and gender and the way the terms are used incorrectly in the literature and what could be done to ensure the writing reflects the science.

Sex plays a biological role in disease pathogenesis and pathobiology, while gender has societal implications that may impact the way the disorder presents, risk factors for the disorder, adherence to recommendations and therapy, and more.

“There is more interest in the scientific community in the role of sex and gender as we develop precision medicine more carefully,” Dr. Bourjeily said. “Although genetic factors and mutations may be a wonderful way to treat patients more precisely, sex and gender are equally important in understanding disease and optimizing the approach to patient care.”

Presentations in the session include:

  • Sex and Gender Terminology and the Sleep Literature – Ghada Bourjeily, MD, FCCP, Women’s Medicine Collaborative
  • Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Women – Carolyn D’Ambrosio, MD, MS, FCCP, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Insomnia in Women – Fidaa Shaib, MD, FCCP, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Restless Leg Syndrome in Women – Ashima Sahni, MD, MBBS, FCCP, University of Illinois at Chicago