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Ther Adv Respir Dis. 2007 Oct;1(1):47-59. doi: 10.1177/1753465807082374.

Systemic consequences of COPD.

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  • 1The University of British Columbia (Respiratory Division), Vancouver, BC.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a highly prevalent chronic lung condition, affecting approximately 10% of adults over the age of 40 years in the western world. Research over the past 10 years has shown that COPD is more than just a lung disorder; it affects other end-organs including the cardiovascular and the musculoskeletal systems, making it a multi-component, multi-system disease. COPD increases the risk for ischemic heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, cachexia, and muscle weakness by two to threefold, independent of other factors such as smoking and age. The mechanisms by which COPD affects these end-organs, however, are unclear. In this paper, we review some of the common and serious extra-pulmonary manifestations of COPD and the potential mechanisms by which they can be linked with COPD.

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