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Increased Cardiovascular Risk in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and the Potential Mechanisms Linking the Two Conditions: A Review

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Anthony De SoyzaORCiD, Professor Vijay KunadianORCiD


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Cardiovascular diseases, especially coronary artery disease (CAD), are the leading causes of death in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There is a high prevalence of common risk factors in the COPD/CAD patient population including smoking, sedentary lifestyle and low socio-economic status. However, various studies have shown that airflow limitation is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Chronic low-grade systemic inflammation, oxidative stress and increased platelet activation have been widely reported to be pathophysiological links between COPD and atherosclerosis. Statins and inhaled corticosteroids have been investigated as potential therapeutic interventions in COPD that may lower cardiovascular risk. The goals of this review are to examine the evidence for increased cardiovascular risk in COPD patients, the possible mechanisms linking these two chronic conditions, to discuss possible predictors or markers of poor outcomes among patients diagnosed with both COPD and CAD, and the therapeutic options aimed at reducing cardiovascular risks associated with COPD.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ghoorah K, De Soyza A, Kunadian V

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cardiology in Review

Year: 2013

Volume: 21

Issue: 4

Pages: 196-202

Print publication date: 01/07/2013

Online publication date: 22/10/2012

ISSN (print): 1061-5377

ISSN (electronic): 1538-4683


DOI: 10.1097/CRD.0b013e318279e907

PubMed id: 23095685