Prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in patients hospitalized for acute exacerbation of COPD: prospective observational study

Nidhi Gupta, Chitralekha Vora, Tarun Madan, Pankaj Garg, Monalisa Vagde, Suresh Bisnoi, Minesh Chaudhary


Background: Acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) has considerable cardiovascular risk. Various cardiovascular diseases are common during exacerbations. Both diseases share several similarities such as older age of the patient, smoking as a common risk factor and symptoms of exertional dyspnea. Knowledge regarding the magnitude of underlying cardiovascular diseases during AECOPD is limited. Authors performed this study to assess the presence of different associated cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in patients hospitalized for AECOPD and its effect on the outcome.

Methods: It was a prospective observational study involving 436 patients of AECOPD divided to Group 1 (AECOPD with CVD- 137 (31.4%) patients) and Group 2 (AECOPD without CVD 299 (68.6%) patients). All the patients were subjected to full history taking, clinical examination, chest X-ray, spirometry, ECG and echocardiography.

Results: COPD patients in exacerbation with CVD, were significantly more likely to have longer duration of hospital stay (p < 0.0001), high CRP level (p<0.001), more frequent mechanical ventilations (p < 0.001), two or more exacerbations per year (p <0.0001) and the mortality was (p<0.0001). Also, they have GOLD grade III/IV severe (43.5%) and very severe (19.5%) air flow limitation. The high percentage of them had (64.8%) pulmonary hypertension, (37.3%) systemic arterial hypertension, (31.5%) arrhythmia, (27.8%) ischemic heart diseases and (21.3%) heart failure.

Conclusions: The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in patients hospitalized for COPD was high. Age, sex and CVD trends, as well as life style changes, should be considered when prevention and control strategies are formulated.


COPD, Cardiovascular diseases, Mechanical ventilation (MV), Pulmonary hypertension (PH)

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