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      Managing comorbidities in COPD

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          Abstract

          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Age and smoking are common risk factors for COPD and other illnesses, often leading COPD patients to demonstrate multiple coexisting comorbidities. COPD exacerbations and comorbidities contribute to the overall severity in individual patients. Clinical trials investigating the treatment of COPD routinely exclude patients with multiple comorbidities or advanced age. Clinical practice guidelines for a specific disease do not usually address comorbidities in their recommendations. However, the management and the medical intervention in COPD patients with comorbidities need a holistic approach that is not clearly established worldwide. This holistic approach should include the specific burden of each comorbidity in the COPD severity classification scale. Further, the pharmacological and nonpharmacological management should also include optimal interventions and risk factor modifications simultaneously for all diseases. All health care specialists in COPD management need to work together with professionals specialized in the management of the other major chronic diseases in order to provide a multidisciplinary approach to COPD patients with multiple diseases. In this review, we focus on the major comorbidities that affect COPD patients. We present an overview of the problems faced, the reasons and risk factors for the most commonly encountered comorbidities, and the burden on health care costs. We also provide a rationale for approaching the therapeutic options of the COPD patient afflicted by comorbidity.

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          Most cited references 138

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          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

          Summary Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterised by progressive airflow obstruction that is only partly reversible, inflammation in the airways, and systemic effects or comorbities. The main cause is smoking tobacco, but other factors have been identified. Several pathobiological processes interact on a complex background of genetic determinants, lung growth, and environmental stimuli. The disease is further aggravated by exacerbations, particularly in patients with severe disease, up to 78% of which are due to bacterial infections, viral infections, or both. Comorbidities include ischaemic heart disease, diabetes, and lung cancer. Bronchodilators constitute the mainstay of treatment: β2 agonists and long-acting anticholinergic agents are frequently used (the former often with inhaled corticosteroids). Besides improving symptoms, these treatments are also thought to lead to some degree of disease modification. Future research should be directed towards the development of agents that notably affect the course of disease.
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            Prevalence and outcomes of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease in COPD.

            Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with important chronic comorbid diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. The present study analysed data from 20,296 subjects aged > or =45 yrs at baseline in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) and the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). The sample was stratified based on baseline lung function data, according to modified Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) criteria. Comorbid disease at baseline and death and hospitalisations over a 5-yr follow-up were then searched for. Lung function impairment was found to be associated with more comorbid disease. In logistic regression models adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking, body mass index and education, subjects with GOLD stage 3 or 4 COPD had a higher prevalence of diabetes (odds ratio (OR) 1.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-1.9), hypertension (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.3-1.9) and cardiovascular disease (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.9-3.0). Comorbid disease was associated with a higher risk of hospitalisation and mortality that was worse in people with impaired lung function. Lung function impairment is associated with a higher risk of comorbid disease, which contributes to a higher risk of adverse outcomes of mortality and hospitalisations.
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              Mortality in COPD: Role of comorbidities.

              Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) represents an increasing burden throughout the world. COPD-related mortality is probably underestimated because of the difficulties associated with identifying the precise cause of death. Respiratory failure is considered the major cause of death in advanced COPD. Comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and lung cancer are also major causes and, in mild-to-moderate COPD, are the leading causes of mortality. The links between COPD and these conditions are not fully understood. However, a link through the inflammation pathway has been suggested, as persistent low-grade pulmonary and systemic inflammation, both known risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer, are present in COPD independent of cigarette smoking. Lung-specific measurements, such as forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)), predict mortality in COPD and in the general population. However, composite tools, such as health-status measurements (e.g. St George's Respiratory Questionnaire) and the BODE index, which incorporates Body mass index, lung function (airflow Obstruction), Dyspnoea and Exercise capacity, predict mortality better than FEV(1) alone. These multidimensional tools may be more valuable because, unlike predictive approaches based on single parameters, they can reflect the range of comorbidities and the complexity of underlying mechanisms associated with COPD. The current paper reviews the role of comorbidities in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality, the putative underlying pathogenic link between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and comorbid conditions (i.e. inflammation), and the tools used to predict chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                2015
                07 January 2015
                : 10
                : 95-109
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Critical Care and Pulmonary Services, University of Athens Medical School, Evangelismos Hospital, Athens, Greece
                [2 ]Department of Thoracic Medicine, University Hospital of Heraklion, Medical School, University of Crete, Crete, Greece
                [3 ]Department of General Practice, University Medical Centre of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Nikolaos Tzanakis, Department of Thoracic Medicine, Medical School, University of Crete, 71 003 Heraklion, Greece, Tel +30-6984643636, Email tzanakis@ 123456med.uoc.gr
                Article
                copd-10-095
                10.2147/COPD.S54473
                4293292
                © 2015 Hillas et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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