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Quantifying COPD as a risk factor for cardiac disease in a primary prevention cohort


Background — Despite COPD being a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and knowing that risk stratification for CVD primary prevention is important, little is known about the real world risk of CVD among people with COPD with no history of CVD. This knowledge would inform CVD management to people with COPD. The current study aimed to examine risk of major adverse cardiac events (MACE, including acute myocardial infarction, stroke or cardiovascular death) in a large, complete real-world population with COPD without previous CVD.

Methods — We conducted a retrospective population cohort study using health administrative, medication, laboratory, electronic medical record and other data from Ontario, Canada. People without a history of CVD with and without physician diagnosed COPD were followed between 2008 and 2016 and cardiac risk factors and comorbidities compared. Sequential cause-specific hazard models adjusting for these factors determined the risk of MACE in people with COPD.

Results — Among ∼5.8 million individuals in Ontario aged 40 years and older without CVD, 152 125 had COPD. After adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors, comorbidities and other variables, the rate of MACE was 25% higher in persons with compared to without COPD (HR=1.25, 95% CI [1.23, 1.27]).

Conclusions — In a large real-world population without CVD, people with physician diagnosed COPD were 25% more likely to have a major CVD event, after adjustment for CVD risk and other factors. This rate is comparable to the rate in people with diabetes and calls for more aggressive CVD primary prevention in the COPD population.



Maclagan LC, Croxford R, Chu A, Sin D, Udell JA, Lee DS, Austin PC, Gershon AS. Eur Respir J. 2023; Jun 29 [Epub ahead of print].

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