Traditional and emerging indicators of cardiovascular risk in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chron Respir Dis. 2016 Aug;13(3):247-55. doi: 10.1177/1479972316636995. Epub 2016 Mar 10.


With the increased cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality in subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there is a priority to identify those patients at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Stable patients with COPD (n = 185) and controls with a smoking history (n = 106) underwent aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV), blood pressure (BP) and skin autofluorescence (AF) at clinical stability. Blood was sent for fasting lipids, soluble receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE) and CV risk prediction scores were calculated. More patients (18%) had a self-reported history of CV disease than controls (8%), p = 0.02, whilst diabetes was similar (14% and 10%), p = 0.44. Mean (SD) skin AF was greater in patients: 3.1 (0.5) AU than controls 2.8 (0.6) AU, p < 0.001. Aortic PWV was greater in patients: 10.2 (2.3) m/s than controls: 9.6 (2.0) m/s, p = 0.02 despite similar BP. The CV risk prediction scores did not differentiate between patients and controls nor were the individual components of the scores different. The sRAGE levels were not statistically different. We present different indicators of CV risk alongside each other in well-defined subjects with and without COPD. Two non-invasive biomarkers associated with future CV burden: skin AF and aortic PWV are both significantly greater in patients with COPD compared to the controls. The traditional CV prediction scores used in the general population were not statistically different. We provide new data to suggest that alternative approaches for optimal CV risk detection should be employed in COPD management.

Keywords: COPD; Cardiovascular risk; advanced glycation end products; aortic stiffness; autofluorescence.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced