In addition, 62.2% of people with both restricted lung function and heart disease had nasal symptoms, demonstrating that the symptoms could be used as a marker for identifying increased risk of heart disease and COPD in people yet to be diagnosed with either condition.
Dr Anne Lindberg, from the Sunderby Hospital in Sweden, said: "Our findings are the first to shed light on the links between both nasal symptoms and cardiovascular condition, in relation to people with COPD and restrictive lung function. This has important implications for clinicians who need to understand the potential overlaps of these conditions when they are treating people with COPD. In addition to raising awareness of these co-morbidities, it will also be important to investigate these links further and look at the effect that co-morbid conditions have on exacerbations and disease progression. "
Professor Marc Decramer, President of the European Respiratory Society, said: "Clinicians often forget that people with one chronic condition usually have another illness at the same time. Many of the illnesses that are common alongside COPD, such as cardiovascular disease, may also share similar traits and it is vital that we build on research such as this study to identify new therapeutic targets in the future.
"The European Respiratory Roadmap, which was launched last month, outlines the need for great coordination between medical specialists. As the population is aging, the presence of co-morbidities will increase. The roadmap suggests that clinicians need to improve their recognition of other conditions to improve patient care and look at how to manage COPD in conjunction with other health conditions."
|Contact: Lauren Anderson|
European Lung Foundation