Comorbidities are common in patients with COPD

The majority of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) referred for pulmonary rehabilitation have multiple extra-pulmonary comorbidities, according to a new study from the Netherlands.

"Comorbidities were common in our sample of 213 COPD patients from the CIRO Comorbidity (CIROCO) study, and most patients had varying combinations of comorbidities," said Lowie Vanfleteren, MD, of CIRO+, a center of expertise in chronic organ failure in Horn, the Netherlands, which is connected to the Maastricht University Medical Center. "The presence of these comorbidities may complicate the management of these patients and may ultimately influence their prognosis."

The results of the study will be presented at the ATS 2012 International Conference in San Francisco. Comorbidities were objectively assessed by measuring triglycerides, , hemoglobin, glucose, resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, renal function (using estimated ), arterial stiffness (using aortic pulse wave velocity), subclinical atherosclerosis (using carotid intima-media thickness); (using DXA scans of the hip and lumbar spine), body weight, fat-free mass (using electrical bio impedance), and symptoms of anxiety and depression (using the Hospital rating scale). Abnormal values were defined based on well-established cut-offs. The most common comorbidities observed were hyperglycemia (54%), subclinical atherosclerosis (53%), hypertension (48%), dyslipidemia (36%) and osteoporosis (31%). Obesity (23%), underweight (14%), muscle wasting (28%), renal impairment (22%), anxiety (21%) and depression (16%) were also present in a substantial percentage of patients.

Almost all (98%) patients had two or more comorbidities, and 54% had four or more. Using data mining software, five unique groups of patients with different combinations of comorbidities were identified.

"Identifying patients with particular clusters of comorbidities may ultimately lead to the development of patient-tailored treatment," said Dr. Vanfleteren.

"Most previous studies of comorbidities in COPD patients have used self-report data, limiting their validity, and have only examined comorbidities individually," said Dr. Vanfleteren. "By using objective measures of a range of comorbidities in our study, we have shown that not only are comorbidities common in COPD patients, but they often occur in groups."

"Future COPD practice guidelines should specifically address the treatment of comorbidities in these patients," Dr. Vanfletern concluded.

More information: "Objectified Co-Morbidities In Patients With COPD: The CIROCO Study" (Session B97, Monday, May 21, Room 3020-3022, Moscone Center; Abstract 30329)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Comorbidities increase risk of mortality in COPD patients

May 04, 2012

Comorbidities are common among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and a number of these comorbidities are independently associated with an increased mortality risk, according to a new study.

Is anesthesia dangerous?

Jul 21, 2011

In pure numerical terms, anesthesia-associated mortality has risen again. The reasons for this are the disproportionate increase in the numbers of older and multimorbid patients and surgical procedures that would have been ...

Recommended for you

No apparent link between sleep apnea and cancer

Aug 05, 2014

Obstructive sleep apnea, in which people stop breathing for short periods while sleeping, affects about 5% of Canadian adults aged 45 years or older and can negatively affect health. More than 1 in 5 adult ...

Tonsillectomy for sleep apnea may trigger weight gain

Jul 28, 2014

(HealthDay)—Tonsillectomies are commonly done to relieve sleep apnea in children, but a new study confirms that the treatment can speed kids' weight gain—especially if they're already overweight.

User comments