COPD as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease

Author(s): Alberto Calderon Montero, Gonzalo Segrelles Calvo

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the fifth leading cause of mortality in the Western world. Approximately 35%-40% is due to cardiovascular complications in the broad spectrum of heart failure, atherosclerotic disease, arrhythmias, and sudden death. The underlying pathophysiological substrate is an alteration in the functioning of the cardiopulmonary axis by different mechanisms. Despite the evidence, COPD is not included as a specific entity in the different cardiovascular risk tables and calculators, which leads to an underestimation of risk and insufficient treatment, both in the field of inhaled bronchodilators and drugs. Commonly used in cardiovascular diseases. Recent intervention studies have revealed how cardiovascular complications exceed respiratory complications in some populations with COPD, and how new strategies are being developed with inhaled bronchodilator drugs potentially capable of modifying the course of the disease.