Presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in heart failure (HF) has prognostic and therapeutic implications. Exact prevalence estimates are lacking because most previous studies estimated the prevalence of COPD among HF patients while unstable and in the presence of pulmonary congestion.
Community-dwelling patients with an established diagnosis of HF and in a stable phase of their disease were invited for spirometry. COPD was defined according to the Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) classification and considered present if the ratio of the post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second and forced vital capacity was below 0.7.
Thirty of the 106 patients with HF (mean age 76 [standard deviation] 11.9 years, 57% male) had COPD (prevalence 28.3% [95% confidence interval (CI) 19.7%–36.9%]), with similar rates among those with HF and a reduced ejection fraction (18 individuals; prevalence 28.6% [95% CI 20.0%–37.2%]) and HF with preserved ejection fraction (12 individuals; prevalence 27.9% [95% CI 19.4–36.4]). Twenty-one (70%) of the 30 participants were newly detected cases of COPD.