Defining COPD-related comorbidities, 2004-2014

06 May 2014
Respiratory conditions
  • COPD
  • Multi-morbidity
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Martinez CH, Mannino DM, Divo MJ


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease of aging in combination with genetic, environmental, and behavioral risk factors. Aging and many of these risk factors are shared with other diseases, and, as a result, it is not surprising that patients with COPD often have coexistent diseases. This review of COPD comorbidities uses a framework in which coexistent diseases are considered important comorbidities if they are more frequent, have more severe consequences, influence the progression and outcomes of COPD, or are clustered together into proposed phenotypes, supplemented by a framework in which certain comorbidities are expected to share specific pathogenic mechanisms. This review explores classic COPD comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, cachexia and sleep apnea, but also looks at more recently described comorbidities, such as gastroesophageal reflux, osteoporosis and depression/anxiety.