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Increasingly, Other Ailments Prove Fatal for People With COPD

Posted Feb 07 2011 3:11pm

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are more likely today than in the past to die from cardiovascular disease or other conditions that are not respiratory ailments, a new Swedish study has found.

This suggests that doctors need to be more aware of these risks when treating people with COPD, as the condition is known.

In recent years, the average age of COPD patients beginning long-term oxygen therapy has grown in Sweden from 66 to 73 years, Dr. Magnus P. Ekstrom, respiratory medicine physician and researcher at Blekinge Hospital in Karlskrona, Sweden, said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society. The proportion of women starting the therapy also has increased, said Ekstrom, who worked on the study.

“We wanted to determine if these changes had resulted in a shift in the causes of death for COPD patients with long-term oxygen therapy,” he said of the study, published online Jan. 7 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


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