Individuals on long-term oxygen therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been found to face greater risk of death from other diseases, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Researchers enrolled 7,600 patients who had oxygen therapy and studied them until treatment was suspended or until death—for a median length of 1.7 years. They ultimately found that while the risk of death decreased annually for both respiratory disease (2.7%) and lung cancer (3.4%), there were annual increased risks of circulatory disease (2.8%) and digestive organ disease (7.8%).
Increases in both overall mortality and mortality due to non-respiratory causes is due to coexisting diseases and conditions, and they become more vulnerable with increasing age said researchers.
Bottom line - make sure your doctor is checking for the hidden damage that may result as a result of O2 therapy.