Cardiovascular disease in COPD: mechanisms

Chest. 2013 Mar;143(3):798-807. doi: 10.1378/chest.12-0938.


It is now well established that cardiovascular disease contributes significantly to both morbidity and mortality in COPD. Shared risk factors for cardiovascular disease and COPD, such as smoking, low socioeconomic class, and a sedentary lifestyle contribute to the natural history of each of these conditions. However, it is now apparent that alternative, novel mechanisms are involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, and these may play an important role in driving the increased cardiovascular risk associated with COPD. In this article, we discuss the potential mechanisms that link COPD to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Chemokines, CC / analysis
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / complications
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / mortality
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / pathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Vascular Stiffness


  • CCL18 protein, human
  • Chemokines, CC
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1