Background and aim: The risk factors of aortic aneurysm (AA) are comparable with those described for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This study was performed to determine whether patients with AA have a higher than average prevalence of obstructive airway disease.
Methods: We performed pulmonary function tests in 240 consecutive patients (182 men and 58 women; age, 70 +/- 10 years) with thoracic or abdominal AA. The results were compared with those in individuals without obvious cardiovascular disease (control) and in patients with coronary artery disease who were matched for age, gender, smoking status, and other atherosclerotic risk factors.
Results: Patients in the AA group had a lower forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity (%) and carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (%/predicted value) than did the control group (P <.01). The proportion of patients with airway obstruction, defined as forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity of 70% or less, was higher in the AA group (100/240; 42%) than in the control (51/223; 23%) and coronary artery disease (43/238; 18%) groups. Multiple logistic regression analysis results revealed that the presence of an AA and male gender were associated with a higher risk of airway obstruction (odds ratio, 2.928; 95% CI, 1.722 to 4.979; and odds ratio, 1.622; 95% CI, 1.055 to 2.493, respectively).
Conclusion: These data suggest that AA may be a risk factor indicative of the presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A higher prevalence of depressed pulmonary function should be suspected as a preoperative risk in presence of thoracic or abdominal AA as compared with other types of cardiovascular disorders.