Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease as a Predictor of Cardiovascular Risk: A Case-Control Study

COPD. 2020 Feb;17(1):81-89. doi: 10.1080/15412555.2019.1694501. Epub 2019 Dec 13.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex multi-morbid disorder with significant cardiac mortality. Current cardiovascular risk prediction models do not include COPD. We investigated whether COPD modifies future cardiovascular risk to determine if it should be considered in risk prediction models.Case-control study using baseline data from two randomized controlled trials performed between 2012 and 2015. Of the 90 eligible subjects, 26 COPD patients with lung hyperinflation were propensity matched for 10-year global cardiovascular risk score (QRISK2) with 26 controls having normal lung function. Patients underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, arterial stiffness and lung function measurements. Differences in pulse wave velocity (PWV), total arterial compliance (TAC) and aortic distensibility were main outcome measures.PWV (mean difference 1.0 m/s, 95% CI 0.02-1.92; p = 0.033) and TAC (mean difference -0.27 mL/m2/mmHg, 95% CI 0.39-0.15; p < 0.001) were adversely affected in COPD compared to the control group. The PWV difference equates to an age, sex and risk-factor adjusted increase in relative risk of cardiovascular events and mortality of 14% and 15%, respectively.There were no differences in aortic distensibility. In the whole cohort (n = 90) QRISK2 (β = 0.045, p = 0.005) was associated with PWV in multivariate analysis. The relationship between QRISK2 and PWV were modified by COPD, where the interaction term reached significance (p = 0.014). FEV1 (β = 0.055 (0.027), p = 0.041) and pulse (B = -0.006 (0.002), p = 0.003) were associated with TAC in multivariate analysis.Markers of cardiovascular outcomes are adversely affected in COPD patients with lung hyperinflation compared to controls matched for global cardiovascular risk. Cardiovascular risk algorithms may benefit from the addition of a COPD variable to improve risk prediction and guide management.HAPPY London NCT01911910 and HZC116601; NCT01691885.

Keywords: Cardiovascular risk; cardiovascular surrogate markers; pulse wave velocity; risk prediction models; surrogate markers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors*
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Pulse Wave Analysis*
  • Residual Volume
  • Total Lung Capacity
  • Vascular Stiffness*
  • Vital Capacity

Associated data