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COPD increases risk of developing cerebral microbleeds
Date:7/18/2013

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with an increased risk of developing cerebral microbleeds, according to a new study from researchers in the Netherlands. Cerebral microbleeds are a marker of cerebral small vessel disease, an important cause of age-related disability and cognitive decline.

"The connection between COPD and cerebral small vessel disease was suggested by two earlier studies, but the connection between COPD and cerebral microbleeds, the location of which can help elucidate underlying disease mechanisms, has not been studied," said researchers Lies Lahousse, PhD, of the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Ghent University Hospital in Belgium and Bruno Stricker, PhD, of the Department of Epidemiology at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. "In the current study, we found, for the first time, that COPD increases the risk of cerebral microbleeds in deep or infratentorial brain regions, not only in a cross-sectional analysis but also in a longitudinal analysis in subjects without microbleeds at baseline."

Microbleeds in deep (deep gray matter of the basal ganglia and thalamus and white matter of the corpus callosum, internal, external, and extreme capsule) or infratentorial (brainstem and cerebellum) locations are suggestive of hypertensive or arteriosclerotic disease in the small blood vessels. The prevalence of large vessel disease is known to be increased in COPD, and these new results "indicate that COPD might affect both large and small vessels," said Dr. Lahousse.

The findings were published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

The study included 165 subjects with COPD and 645 subjects with normal lung function from the Rotterdam study, a prospective population-based cohort study in subjects ≥55 years. COPD diagnoses were confirmed by spirometry and cerebral micr
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Contact: Nathaniel Dunford
ndunford@thoracic.org
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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