Abstract / Description of output
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are often characterised by a range of characteristic co-morbidities that interfere with their pulmonary disease. In addition to a mere association with co-morbidities, a complex pathophysiological interaction and mutual augmentation occurs between COPD and its co-morbidities that may result in disease progression and increased morbidity and mortality. An interdisciplinary approach is required both for diagnosis and treatment to target co-morbidities early in the course of the disease. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the interaction with cerebrovascular disease and endocrinological co-morbidities in COPD patients. There is growing evidence that COPD is an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke, increasing the risk about twofold. Stroke risk in COPD patients increases with the severity of the disease as measured by the degree of airflow limitation. The presence of cardiovascular risk factors is of particular importance for stroke prevention in COPD patients. Endocrinological co-morbidities are also important and many are associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Impaired glucose metabolism ranges from insulin resistance to overt diabetes mellitus, which is a frequent finding and is associated with worse outcome.