Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with atherosclerosis. Previous studies including limited sample sizes have shown the prevalence of peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) among COPD patients. We sought to investigate the incidence of PAOD among COPD patients in Taiwan using a national database.
COPD patients were collected from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan from 1996 to 2010. The COPD cohort was propensity score matched according to age, sex, and comorbidities of atrial fibrillation, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, cerebrovascular accidents, and chronic liver disease to patients without COPD (the control cohort). We evaluated the incidence of PAOD in COPD patients and the risk of PAOD associated with atrial fibrillation, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, cerebrovascular accidents, and chronic liver disease.
The study included 51,869 COPD patients and 51,869 control patients without COPD. The incidence of PAOD was 1.23-fold higher (95% confidence interval [CI] =1.17–1.29) in the COPD group than in the non-COPD group. Moreover, COPD and atrial fibrillation alone (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 2.99; P=0.001), hypertension alone (aHR, 2.05; P<0.001), diabetes alone (aHR, 2.62; P<0.001) and cerebrovascular accidents alone (aHR 2.05; P<0.001), increased the risk of developing PAOD. The significant aHRs increased (from 3.7 to 4.9) when the number of comorbidities increased (from ≥1 to ≥3 comorbidities).