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Relation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease to Cardiovascular Disease in the General Population

      Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major health problem that contributes to substantial morbidity and mortality globally. This study investigated the relation between COPD and the risk of cardiovascular disease in the general population. We evaluated the cardiovascular effect of COPD using Korean National Health Insurance Service data from 2002 to 2013. We compared selected cardiovascular disease risk factors depending on pulmonary function using the Korean Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (KNHANES, n = 24,429) data. COPD was diagnosed in 11,771 patients (2.4%) in the National Health Insurance Service cohort. During the follow-up period (45.5 ± 14.9 months), subjects with COPD had lower cumulative survival rate for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and sudden cardiac death (SCD, all p values <0.001). COPD was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality even after adjustment for potential confounding variables (hazard ratio [HR] 1.43, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.33 to 1.55, p <0.001). However, COPD did not significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular mortality (HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.22, p = 0.876) and SCD (HR 1.07, 95% CI 0.79 to 1.44, p = 0.664) when adjusted for potential confounding variables. Analysis of the KNHANES cohort showed that systolic blood pressure, current smoking status, and Framingham risk score increased progressively with a decrease in pulmonary function (all p <0.001). In conclusion, COPD was associated with all-cause mortality, but not with cardiovascular mortality and SCD, whereas poor pulmonary function was associated with a heightened cardiovascular risk.
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