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New evidence highlights risk of comorbidities for COPD patients
Date:9/26/2011

Amsterdam, The Netherlands: A new study has shown that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or people with reduced lung function are at a serious risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The findings, which will be presented today (26 September 2011) at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Amsterdam, suggest that people with COPD and reduced lung function should be routinely screened for cardiovascular disease, as they appear to be at a considerably greater risk of it.

The issue of co-morbidities, when an individual is affected by more than one condition at the same time, is a growing problem for medical professionals. As people are living longer, the presence of co-morbid conditions will increase. Patients are often treated by a specialist for one particular symptom but as the prevalence of co-morbidities increases it will become important for all clinicians to recognise other symptoms.

It is common for patients to have both heart disease and COPD but it is largely unrecognised by doctors because of overlapping clinical manifestations. COPD diagnosis can remain unsuspected in people with heart disease, but having both conditions can lead to a much worse outlook for the individual.

Previously there was very little epidemiological evidence linking the two conditions, but this study is the first to identify that nasal symptoms and cardiovascular disease are common in people with COPD and could link the two conditions.

The researchers collected data on nasal symptoms and cardiovascular disease from 993 patients with COPD and 993 without COPD. In the latter group, the patients were divided into two categories; those with normal lung function and those with restricted lung function. 50.1% of people with COPD had cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease, stroke and hypertension, compared to people with normal lung function (41%).

The results showed that nasal symp
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Contact: Lauren Anderson
lauren.anderson@europeanlung.org
31-610-860-810
European Lung Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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