About Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

The risk of death was from this condition was found to be very great among people having a common heart rhythm disorder that is referred to as atrial fibrillation. However, the researchers were quick to add that the risk of getting stroke isn’t increased by COPD. The term COPD is used for describing the diseases known as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In the US, COPD is rated as the third major cause of death according to the statistics taken by U.S Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. There have been other studies undertaken, which have revealed that COPD is essentially a risk factor that is independent when it comes to causing cardiovascular disease. However, whether COPD is actually an independent risk factor when it comes to stroke particularly among patients having atrial fibrillation is something that hasn’t been studied.

How people having atrial fibrillation are affected by COPD

Atrial fibrillation is essentially a risk factor that is well known when it comes to causing blood clots and stroke since irregular heartbeats leads to the pooling of the blood and thus the formation of clots. During this study, about 18000 people having atrial fibrillation were looked into of which 1950 of them had COPD. The researchers noted that those having COPD were actually older and there was a high likelihood that they were former or current smokers. Still, there was a high likelihood that they were having other diseases that could have meant a higher risk of them getting a stroke that also included heart failure, coronary artery disease as well as a prior attack of the heart as noted by the researchers.

COPD patients were found to have an increased risk of 54% of dying from all the causes and these also included problems that were related to the heart like heart attack and heart disease. But it is important to note that there was no association between COPD and systemic embolism or a high risk of stroke. Systematic embolism usually occurs upon clotting of the heart when there is a blood clot at the heart which is carried on to other body parts thereby blocking the flow of blood. Ideally, this occurs mostly in the brain even though it could still occur at any other body part.

Since COPD can increase the risk of people having atrial fibrillation to die, there is need for further research to be undertaken as a way of determining how COPD actually increases the risk. The findings could really change the treatment of these patients.