Purpose: To measure prevalence, incidence, and mortality of cardiovascular outcomes among persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and to assess the extent these outcomes differ from persons without COPD.
Methods: Retrospective cohort study in longitudinal health care databases maintained by the government of Saskatchewan, Canada. Subjects were persons age 40 years or older who were diagnosed with COPD during 1997-2000 and who received two or more prescriptions for bronchodilators within 6 months of diagnosis. Each subject was matched by age and sex to two controls without COPD or asthma.
Results: Of COPD patients (n = 11,493), 54% were male, and 74% were 65 years or older. Prevalence of all cardiovascular diseases was higher in the COPD group than in the comparison group. After adjusting for cardiovascular risk, odds ratios of prevalence were: arrhythmia 1.76 (confidence interval [CI]: 1.64-1.89), angina 1.61 (CI: 1.47-1.76), acute myocardial infarction 1.61 (CI: 1.43-1.81), congestive heart failure 3.84(CI: 3.56-4.14), stroke 1.11 (CI: 1.02-1.21), pulmonary embolism 5.46 (CI: 4.25-7.02). Risk of hospitalization due to each cardiovascular cause was elevated in the COPD group. The risk ratio for cardiovascular mortality was 2.07 (CI: 1.82-2.36) and all cause mortality was 2.82 (CI: 2.61-3.05).
Conclusions: Persons with diagnosed and treated COPD are at increased risk for hospitalizations and deaths due to cardiovascular diseases.