Co- morbidities with COPD 'are often missed'

26 September 2011

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or reduced lung function are at serious risk of developing cardiovascular disease, a new study has shown.

The findings suggest that people with the conditions should be routinely screened for cardiovascular disease as they stand a greater risk of developing respiratory and cardiac diseases.

Risk of co-morbidities is higher now that people are living longer and they can often go unmissed for some time if a patient is only seeing one type of specialist, according to the research presented at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Amsterdam today (September 26th).

Researchers from the European Lung Foundation collected data on nasal symptoms and cardiovascular disease from 993 patients with COPD and 993 without the disorder.

Results showed that 53 per cent of people with COPD and heart disease had nasal symptoms.

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."

COPD is an umbrella term for a group of lung diseases that includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema and small airways disease.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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