Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in heart failure. Prevalence, therapeutic and prognostic implications

Am Heart J. 2008 Mar;155(3):521-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2007.10.040.


Background: Patients with heart failure (HF) frequently have comorbidities. Frequency, prognostic, and therapeutic implications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in HF are largely unknown. We aimed to assess the prevalence and prognostic implications of COPD in a sample of stable patients with HF and to determine the frequency of beta-blocker (bB) use and rate of withdrawal according to COPD coexistence.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study including 186 patients followed in an outpatient HF clinic. All patients had left ventricular systolic dysfunction and a spirometry result. Patients were classified according to the GOLD guidelines. Treatment was instituted at the discretion of the attending physicians. Prognosis was compared between groups using Cox proportional hazards regression. The primary end point was death or all-cause hospitalization.

Results: The prevalence of COPD was 39.2% (73/186). No difference was detected between the COPD and non-COPD groups in the rate of bB use (86.3% vs 87.6%, P = .97) and withdrawal (11.1% and 8.1%, P = .71). Mean follow-up was 14.2 +/- 8.8 months. The primary end point occurred in 71 (38.2%) patients--32 in the COPD group and 39 in the remaining (43.8% and 34.5%, respectively; hazard ratio 1.40, 95% CI 0.88-2.24). Severe COPD (GOLD stages III and IV) was associated with an adverse outcome (hazard ratio 2.10, 95% CI 1.05-4.22).

Conclusions: We observed a high COPD prevalence in stable patients with HF. Severe COPD predicted worse prognosis. Rates of bB use were high and rates of bB withdrawal were low; both were independent of COPD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Aged
  • Carbazoles / administration & dosage
  • Carbazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Carvedilol
  • Cause of Death
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Heart Failure / complications*
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outpatients
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Propanolamines / administration & dosage
  • Propanolamines / therapeutic use*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stroke Volume
  • Survival Rate


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Carbazoles
  • Propanolamines
  • Carvedilol