Managing comorbidity in COPD: a difficult task

Curr Drug Targets. 2013 Feb;14(2):158-76. doi: 10.2174/1389450111314020004.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a public health problem that results in high morbidity, disability and mortality. Comorbidities are highly prevalent in COPD patients because of aging, common risk factors and pathways, rising mortality, and disability. In this review article we present the most prevalent co-morbidities in COPD patients, we face the issue of multimorbidity and discuss the practical management approach relevant to chest physicians and general practitioners. Issues on comorbidities management according to general guidelines as well as their implications for COPD are raised. The aim is to give clinicians an easy update with specific recommendations for each comorbidity. The implications of several medications used for comorbidities in COPD in terms of benefits, concerns, medication preference, medication avoidance and contraindications are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors