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Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2015 Apr;29(2):147-57. doi: 10.1007/s10557-014-6569-y.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and ischemic heart disease comorbidity: overview of mechanisms and clinical management.

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Cardiovascular Institute, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria S.Anna di Ferrara, Cona, FE, Italy,


In the last few years, many studies focused their attention on the relationship between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and ischemic heart disease (IHD), showing that these diseases are mutually influenced. Many different biological processes such as hypoxia, systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, heightened platelet reactivity, arterial stiffness and right ventricle modification interact in the development of the COPD-IHD comorbidity, which therefore deserves special attention in early diagnosis and treatment. Patients with COPD-IHD comorbidity have a worst outcome, when compared to patients with only COPD or only IHD. These patients showed a significant increase on risk of adverse events and of hospital readmissions for recurrent myocardial infarction, heart failure, coronary revascularization, and acute exacerbation of COPD. Taken together, these complications determine a significant increase in mortality. In most cases death occurs for cardiovascular cause, soon after an acute exacerbation of COPD or a cardiovascular adverse event. Recent data regarding incidence, mechanisms and prognosis of this comorbidity, along with the development of new drugs and interventional approaches may improve the management and long-term outcome of COPD-IHD patients. The aim of this review is to describe the current knowledge on COPD-IHD comorbidity. Particularly, we focused our attention on underlying pathological mechanisms and on all treatment and strategies that may improve and optimize the clinical management of COPD-IHD patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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