COPD requires combined treatments, researchers say

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ATLANTA – An Italian study found that most elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have other illnesses that require a combined treatment approach. The study, which featured 50 patients with COPD and a history of heavy smoking, found that only 17% of patients had no other significant morbidities, whereas almost half had two or more, according to Alessia Verduri, MD, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Many of the co-morbidities were cardiovascular, with hypertension and atherosclerosis being the most common. At a conference on the findings, Sandra Willsie, DO, of Lenexa, Kan., said researchers are hearing more and more about the association between atherosclerotic vascular disease and COPD, but that further research would be necessary, including studies of a control group that includes heavy smokers without COPD, who were not included in Verduri’s study. Verduri stated the interplay between COPD and other illnesses is important to research because the comorbidities “contribute to the overall severity” of the disease, including mortality.