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Doubled risk of CV event after COPD exacerbation

By Nigel Praities

COPD patients have double the risk of a major cardiovascular event in the days following an exacerbation, say UK researchers.

A study of primary care records for 26,000 patients with COPD in the UK and identified those who had an exacerbation requiring the use of oral corticosteroids or antibiotics.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham and University College London calculated the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in the post exacerbation period compared with their baseline risk when stable.

There was a 2.27-fold increased risk of MI in the first five days after the exacerbation, which diminished progressively over time, and a 1.26-fold increased risk of a stroke between one and 49 days after an exacerbation.

Lead researcher, Dr Gavin Donaldson, senior lecturer at University College London medical school, said the study suggested that increased inflammation could be the cause of the association.

‘This study has for the first time shown that an exacerbation of COPD is associated with a small but statistically significant increased relative risk of MI and stroke.

‘The data suggest there is a good rationale for treating both the stable and exacerbation states to reduce cardiovascular events in patients with COPD.'

Chest. 2010: 137; 1091-97.

COPD patients were found to have double the risk of a major cardiovascular event in the days following an exacerbation COPD patients were found to have double the risk of a major cardiovascular event in the days following an exacerbation

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