COPD patients at significantly higher risk of heart failure

May 18, 2014

As if increased risks of high blood pressure, respiratory infections, lung cancer and even depression weren't enough, researchers say patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have another complication to worry about: heart failure. That's according to a new study from the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, which found the prevalence of heart failure is significantly higher in patients with COPD compared to the rest of the study population. They also found that the risk was especially high among African-American patients with COPD.

The study's findings were presented at the ATS 2014 International Conference.

"The relationship between COPD and has been well studied, but substantially less information exists concerning the coexistence of COPD and ," said lead author Srinadh Annangi, MBBS. "For our study, we analyzed from the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) to investigate the frequency and impact of heart failure on hospitalizations for subjects with COPD."

The researchers reviewed 386,186,183 records from 2001 through 2010 and identified 33,338,505 patients aged 40 years and over who had COPD. Those records were further analyzed to identify patients who also had heart failure, and then stratified by race and age.

After analysis, they found that 28.7% of COPD patients had heart failure, compared to 13.0% in the background population. Looking at race, the researchers reported the following findings:

  • 28.3% of European Americans with COPD had heart failure compared to 12.9% of the non-COPD European American population;
  • 35.1% of African Americans with COPD had heart failure compared to 15.2% of the non-COPD African American population; and
  • 25.3% of COPD patients from other populations had heart failure compared to 11.3% in their counterparts who did not have COPD.
  • In cases where race was not reported, 28.1% of COPD patients had heart failure compared to 13.6% of those who did not have COPD.

With regard to age, they found:

  • For patients from 40 to 59 years of age, 18.0% of patients with COPD also had heart failure compared to 5.4% of patients without COPD;
  • For patients from 60 to 79 years of age, 27.5% of COPD patients had heart disease compared to 13.6% without COPD; and
  • Among patients aged 80 years and older, heart failure was present in 38.6% of those with COPD and 24.4% of those who did not have COPD.

The researchers also found that patients with both COPD and heart failure had longer average hospital stays, higher in-hospital mortality rates and were discharged to long-term care facilities more often than patients with COPD alone.

"The co-existence of COPD and heart failure, which share common symptoms, may pose diagnostic and therapeutic challenges," said study corresponding author Marilyn G. Foreman, M.D., M.S. "The long-term effect of both diagnoses over time remains to be determined."

"As the prevalence of COPD gains traction in individuals of low socioeconomic status, the impact of simultaneous co-morbid diagnoses over decades of life could pose substantial fiscal, therapeutic, and social challenges," she added.

Explore further: Troublesome dyspnea during sexual activity is common in COPD patients

More information: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease And Heart Failure - A Decade Analysis Of The National Hospital Discharge Survey, Scientific Abstract, 09.03 - COPD: Comorbidities (CP), by S. Annangi, M.G. Foreman, E.L. Flenaugh; Morehouse School of Medicine - Atlanta, GA/US

Related Stories

Troublesome dyspnea during sexual activity is common in COPD patients

May 21, 2012
Troublesome dyspnea that limits sexual activity is common among older patients with COPD, according to a new study from Denmark.

Study finds adverse respiratory outcomes for older people with COPD taking benzodiazepines

April 17, 2014
A group of drugs commonly prescribed for insomnia, anxiety and breathing issues "significantly increase the risk" that older people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, need to visit a doctor or Emergency ...

Daily walk of just 3 km can reduce risk of hospitalization for respiratory problems

February 18, 2014
New research in Respirology shows that suffers of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can reduce their risk of being hospitalized with severe attacks, by maintaining an exercise regime of walking between three to ...

COPD patients at risk of dangerous bacterial infections

January 16, 2013
It is well known that COPD patients run a higher risk of contracting respiratory infections. However, a new thesis from Lund University in Sweden shows that they are also at higher risk of other bacterial infections, such ...

5-question survey may increase COPD diagnoses

October 22, 2012
A simple, five-question patient-administered survey (COPD-PS) may lead to increased diagnoses of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Race and gender influence diagnosis of COPD

May 21, 2013
African-Americans are less likely than whites and women are more likely than men to have had a prior diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) regardless of their current disease severity, according to a new ...

Recommended for you

Physically active white men at high risk for plaque buildup in arteries

October 17, 2017
White men who exercise at high levels are 86 percent more likely than people who exercise at low levels to experience a buildup of plaque in the heart arteries by middle age, a new study suggests.

Blood cancer gene could be key to preventing heart failure

October 16, 2017
A new study, published today in Circulation, shows that the gene Runx1 increases in damaged heart muscle after a heart attack. An international collaboration led by researchers from the University of Glasgow, found that mice ...

Tai chi holds promise as cardiac rehab exercise

October 11, 2017
The slow and gentle movements of Tai Chi hold promise as an alternative exercise option for patients who decline traditional cardiac rehabilitation, according to preliminary research in Journal of the American Heart Association, ...

Mitochondrial DNA could predict risk for sudden cardiac death, heart disease

October 11, 2017
Johns Hopkins researchers report that the level, or "copy number," of mitochondrial DNA—genetic information stored not in a cell's nucleus but in the body's energy-creating mitochondria—is a novel and distinct biomarker ...

Meeting an unmet need: A surgical implant that grows with a child

October 10, 2017
Medical implants can save lives by correcting structural defects in the heart and other organs. But until now, the use of medical implants in children has been complicated by the fact that fixed-size implants cannot expand ...

Fruit fly muscles with a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy mutation don't relax properly

October 9, 2017
Using fruit flies, Johns Hopkins researchers have figured out why a particular inherited human heart condition that is almost always due to genetic mutations causes the heart to enlarge, thicken and fail. They found that ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.