A 2022 study published in the medical journal Radiology has concluded that women are more likely to develop COPD thanks to the fact that their airways are smaller than men's. The study looked at 10,000 people, some who used to smoke, some who currently smoke, and some who have never smoked (via Healthline). Throughout all groups, researchers found that women had thinner, smaller airways than men, which they conclude is the reason why women have less resilience to lung diseases like COPD.

Lead author of the study and associate professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Surya P. Bhatt, told Healthline, "The differences in airway dimensions even after adjusting for height and lung size, and the greater impact of changes in airway size on clinical outcomes in women, was remarkable in that women appear to have a lower reserve against developing airway disease and COPD."

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