Comorbidities and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Prevalence, Influence on Outcomes, and Management

Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Aug;36(4):575-91. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1556063. Epub 2015 Aug 3.


Comorbidities impact a large proportion of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with over 80% of patients with COPD estimated to have at least one comorbid chronic condition. Guidelines for the treatment of COPD are just now incorporating comorbidities to their management recommendations of COPD, and it is becoming increasingly clear that multimorbidity as well as specific comorbidities have strong associations with mortality and clinical outcomes in COPD, including dyspnea, exercise capacity, quality of life, healthcare utilization, and exacerbation risk. Appropriately, there has been an increased focus upon describing the burden of comorbidity in the COPD population and incorporating this information into existing efforts to better understand the clinical and phenotypic heterogeneity of this group. In this article, we summarize existing knowledge about comorbidity burden and specific comorbidities in COPD, focusing on prevalence estimates, association with outcomes, and existing knowledge about treatment strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Disease Management
  • Disease Progression
  • Exercise Tolerance*
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / psychology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / therapy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors