Lung disease: COPD also affects the heart

Comorbidities: Chronic pulmonary disease on the heart

In Germany alone, up to five million people from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD are affected. The disease, which is also popularly known as smoker’s cough, known, affects not only the respiratory tract but also on the heart.

Up to five million Federal citizens suffer from COPD

According to the German respiratory League of the three to five million people in Germany alone, COPD (“chronic obstructive pulmonary disease”). According to health experts, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is also popularly known as smoker’s cough or smoker’s lung is known to cause, worldwide, the third leading cause of death. Doctors are now reporting that the disease also strikes at the heart. In addition, they note that data use is rarely not drug therapy offers.

Patients with the chronic lung disease COPD not only suffer from frequent cough and breathing problems, they often develop diseases monitoring, the affect other organs such as the heart. (Image: Ljupco Smokovski/

Patients often develop concomitant diseases

Patients with the chronic lung disease COPD not only suffer from frequent cough, difficulty in breathing and inflammation in the Airways, but they often develop diseases accompanying, the other organs.

The German society for Internal medicine e.V. points in a message.

The Germany-wide COSYCONET study is to clarify how often such co-morbidities happen and how you can recognize them.

Current results of the extensive study of more than 2,700 COPD patients from 29 care centres to participate, at 125. Internist Congress presented from the 4. to 7. May 2019 in Wiesbaden will take place.

Smoking is the most important trigger for the disease

COPD patients suffer from narrowed Airways, increased mucus production and chronic cough.

Even non-smokers are partially affected, but the largest part of the cases in this country, the main cause is pretty clear: Smoking.

“80 per cent of COPD patients are smokers or have previously smoked in your life,” explains Professor Dr. med. Claus F. Vogelmeier, Director of the clinic for Internal medicine of the University hospital of Marburg, and this year’s Congress President.

But also other air pollutants such as fine dust or a training load with coal or grain dust be considered as a trigger of COPD.

Variety of new insights

As it says in the message, the COSYCONET-Kosortium now looking at the consequences of the disease.

In the framework of the study programme, the COPD will be examined patients, a total of seven times intensive: At inclusion in the study, as well as six, 18, 36, 54, 72 and 90 months after that.

Reported to be measured at each of these appointments, lung function, height, weight and blood values, co-morbidities, such as cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders investigated and the physical performance tested.

In addition, questionnaires demographic base data will be collected and aspects such as activity, emotional well-being, subjective quality of life and medication recorded.

“Such a large and comprehensive data base for COPD was missing for Germany so far,” says Vogelmeier.

From the Wealth of collected data was obtained in the past years, a variety of findings, and in expert journals.

Influence on the heart

A current evaluation that will also be on the DGIM Congress, presented, deals with the impact that lung disease has on the heart of the patient.

“We observe that the left ventricle in COPD patients is often reduced, in addition, the location of the heart in the chest changes due to the Cases of the lungs,” explains Vogel Meier, who initiated the COSYCONET-study and conducts.

The current data show that with increasing severity of COPD, the electrical axis of the heart shifts, so the direction of the excitation propagation in the heart muscle.

“This change must have no disease value,” says Vogelmeier. However, it is important to take into account may be due to the COPD caused shifts in the Interpretation of ECG leads.

Non-drug treatment and prevention services

Other current COSYCONET evaluations the frequency with which patients with COPD the recommended in the guidelines non-drug treatment and prevention services.

“Here, room for improvement still,” says Vogelmeier. Because while vaccination for the prevention of respiratory infections are well accepted, only ten to 20 percent of COPD patients to lung sports groups or physiotherapy.

In addition, although it is known that giving up Smoking is the most important aspect of prevention against Smoking cough, Smoking cessation programmes, and are only visited by one-quarter of the Smoking COPD-patients.

“Especially for patients in early stages of COPD should be made by their Physicians more on prevention services to the attention of” bird’s-Meier – due to the progression of the disease could be slowed down considerably. (ad)