Sex and Gender in Lung Diseases and Sleep Disorders: A State-of-the-Art Review: Part 2

Amik Sodhi, Katherine Cox-Flaherty, Meredith Kendall Greer, Tasnim I. Lat, Yuqing Gao, Deepika Polineni, Margaret A. Pisani, Ghada Bourjeily, Marilyn K. Glassberg, Carolyn D'Ambrosio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


There is now ample evidence that differences in sex and gender contribute to the incidence, susceptibility, presentation, diagnosis, and clinical course of many lung diseases. Some conditions are more prevalent in women, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension and sarcoidosis. Some life stages—such as pregnancy—are unique to women and can affect the onset and course of lung disease. Clinical presentation may differ as well, such as the higher number of exacerbations experienced by women with cystic fibrosis (CF), more fatigue in women with sarcoidosis, and more difficulty in achieving smoking cessation. Outcomes such as mortality may be different as well, as indicated by the higher mortality in women with CF. In addition, response to therapy and medication safety may also differ by sex, and yet, pharmacogenomic factors are often not adequately addressed in clinical trials. Various aspects of lung/sleep biology and pathobiology are impacted by female sex and female reproductive transitions. Differential gene expression or organ development can be impacted by these biological differences. Understanding these differences is the first step in moving toward precision medicine for all patients. This article is the second part of a state-of-the-art review of specific effects of sex and gender focused on epidemiology, disease presentation, risk factors, and management of selected lung diseases. We review the more recent literature and focus on guidelines incorporating sex and gender differences in pulmonary hypertension, CF and non-CF bronchiectasis, sarcoidosis, restless legs syndrome and insomnia, and critical illness. We also provide a summary of the effects of pregnancy on lung diseases and discuss the impact of sex and gender on tobacco use and treatment of nicotine use disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-382
Number of pages17
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • cystic fibrosis
  • gender
  • nonbreathing sleep disorders
  • pregnancy
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • sarcoidosis
  • sex
  • smoking cessation


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