Female Sex and Gender in Lung/Sleep Health and Disease. Increased Understanding of Basic Biological, Pathophysiological, and Behavioral Mechanisms Leading to Better Health for Female Patients with Lung Disease Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Female sex/gender is an undercharacterized variable in studies related to lung development and disease. Notwithstanding, many aspects of lung and sleep biology and pathobiology are impacted by female sex and female reproductive transitions. These may manifest as differential gene expression or peculiar organ development. Some conditions are more prevalent in women, such as asthma and insomnia, or, in the case of lymphangioleiomyomatosis, are seen almost exclusively in women. In other diseases, presentation differs, such as the higher frequency of exacerbations experienced by women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or greater cardiac morbidity among women with sleep-disordered breathing. Recent advances in -omics and behavioral science provide an opportunity to specifically address sex-based differences and explore research needs and opportunities that will elucidate biochemical pathways, thus enabling more targeted/personalized therapies. To explore the status of and opportunities for research in this area, the NHLBI, in partnership with the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health and the Office of Rare Diseases Research, convened a workshop of investigators in Bethesda, Maryland on September 18 and 19, 2017. At the workshop, the participants reviewed the current understanding of the biological, behavioral, and clinical implications of female sex and gender on lung and sleep health and disease, and formulated recommendations that address research gaps, with a view to achieving better health outcomes through more precise management of female patients with nonneoplastic lung disease. This report summarizes those discussions.


  • Han, MeiLan K
  • Arteaga-Solis, Emilio
  • Blenis, John
  • Bourjeily, Ghada
  • Clegg, Deborah J
  • DeMeo, Dawn
  • Duffy, Jeanne
  • Gaston, Ben
  • Heller, Nicola M
  • Hemnes, Anna
  • Henske, Elizabeth Petri
  • Jain, Raksha
  • Lahm, Tim
  • Lancaster, Lisa H
  • Lee, Joyce
  • Legato, Marianne J
  • McKee, Sherry
  • Mehra, Reena
  • Morris, Alison
  • Prakash, YS
  • Stampfli, Martin R
  • Gopal-Srivastava, Rashmi
  • Laposky, Aaron D
  • Punturieri, Antonello
  • Reineck, Lora
  • Tigno, Xenia
  • Clayton, Janine

publication date

  • October 1, 2018

has subject area