The main finding of this study was that persons with diagnosed and treated COPD identified in this large integrated health-care population had a higher risk of incident hospitalization and mortality for each of the CVD end points studied, relative to age-matched and gender-matched control subjects. All rates for CVD end points were substantially higher in case patients than in control subjects, most notably so for CHF. Relative to the control subjects, the prevalence of baseline medical conditions was particularly high for asthma and for CHF.
The findings of higher incidences of hospitalization for and mortality from cardiovascular end points in COPD patients may be, in part, due to the higher prevalence of preexisting CVD in the COPD patients. However, the restriction of our analyses to those persons without known preexisting CVD did not substantively alter the RRs for any of the end points examined. We controlled in our analyses for some of the known CVD risk factors, including high BP, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes. While these risk factors were more prevalent in the COPD case group than in the control group, controlling for them attenuated, but did not eliminate, the increased risk of CVD end points associated with COPD. Thus, COPD was a risk factor for CVD end points regardless of whether or not CVD comorbidity was present at baseline and traditional risk factors explained some, but not all, of the increased risk of CVD end points in patients with COPD (you can to learn about COPD here). However, our databases did not include information on smoking, which is an important risk factor for both CVD and COPD, nor did we have data on body mass index. Cigarette smoking is the most powerful predictor of COPD and is also an important risk factor for CVD. Although it could […]