New Mexico Female Miners Have Lower Odds for COPD than Their Male Counterparts.
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a significant cause of morbidity among miners. There is an increasing number of women in the mining industry and the differences in their risk for COPD compared to men miners are not understood. Our objective is to compare the odds for COPD between male and female miners. Using cross-sectional data from the Mining Dust in the United States (MiDUS) Cohort, that included New Mexico miners between 1989 and 2018, we compared the odds for airflow obstruction or chronic bronchitis between women and men. There were 299 women in this diverse cohort of 7,464 miners. Compared to men, female miners reported lower cumulative smoking but higher prevalence of current smoking. Multivariable analysis showed that women miners had significantly lower odds for having airflow obstruction (OR 0.40; 95% CI (0.26, 0.6)) and chronic bronchitis (OR 0.31, 95% CI (0.19, 0.53)) than men. Future studies need to determine whether this sex difference is explained by residual confounders or true biological difference.