Published: 18 May 2021

Authors: Miguel Ángel Martinez-Garcia, Rosa Faner,Grace Oscullo, David la Rosa-Carrillo, Juan Jose Soler-Cataluña, Marta Ballester, Alfonso Muriel, Alvar Agusti

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 192


    Background and objective

    Cardiovascular (CV) diseases are frequent in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Likewise, chronic bronchial infection (CBI) is also frequent in COPD and it is associated with systemic inflammation, a well-known CV risk factor. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between CBI, systemic inflammation and incident CV events.


    A post hoc analysis of prospectively collected cohort of 201 COPD patients [Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) II–IV] followed up every 3–6 months for 84 months was conducted. CBI was defined as ≥3 positive pathogenic microorganisms sputum cultures over 1 year, separated by ≥3 months. Systemic inflammation was assessed by circulating levels of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen. Fatal and non-fatal CV events, including coronary and cerebrovascular events as well as arrhythmia episodes, were prospectively recorded. For analysis, they were analysed separately and combined in a composite variable.


    As hypothesized, CBI was associated with persistent systemic inflammation and a significantly higher incidence of CV events (HR: 3.88; 95% CI: 1.83–8.22), mainly of coronary origin independent of age, number and severity of exacerbations, comorbidities, other CV risk factors, lung function, BMI, smoking status and treatments. These associations were particularly significant in patients with CBI by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA).


    CBI, particularly by PA, is associated with sustained and enhanced systemic inflammation and a higher incidence of CV events (especially coronary events). The possibility that treating CBI may decrease systemic inflammation and CV events in COPD deserves prospective, interventional studies.

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