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Intern Med. 2010;49(24):2687-91. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

High COPD prevalence in patients with liver disease.

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  • 1The Third Department of Internal Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama.



Comorbidities of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been recognized as an important issue in COPD management. We have reported that patients with liver diseases show a higher prevalence of COPD, but the number of patients with liver diseases was small and the details of liver diseases were not clearly investigated. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of COPD in patients with liver diseases by recruiting a large number of patients, and also investigated was the effect of hepatitis virus infection on COPD prevalence.


Six hundred sixty-six patients were recruited from 9 primary care clinics and three hospitals. All of these patients were aged 40 years or older with chronic diseases and had not been diagnosed as having respiratory diseases. A spirometry was performed without administration of an inhaled bronchodilator. Airflow limitation was defined as FEV1/FVC<70%. Underlying diseases were diagnosed by doctors of the clinics or the hospitals.


Two hundred fifty-six patients had liver diseases, and 410 did not. Of 410 patients without liver diseases, 37 patients (9.0%) were diagnosed as COPD, and of 256 patients with liver diseases, 35 patients (13.8%) were COPD. When the prevalence was analyzed according to smoking, age and gender, liver diseases showed a significantly high odds ratio (2.10, 95%CI 1.23-3.57, p=0.006), but hepatitis virus infection showed a non-significant tendency toward a high odds ratio.


The patients with liver diseases had a significantly high prevalence of COPD. The presence of liver disease might become a useful predictor for the early detection of COPD.

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