HealthDay News – Compared with the general population, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have a greater prevalence of heart failure, according to researchers.

“The relationship between COPD and coronary heart disease has been well studied,” Srinadh Annangi, MBBS, and colleagues at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta wrote. “Substantially less information exists concerning the coexistence of COPD and heart failure.”

To examine the frequency and impact of heart failure in patients aged 40 years and over with COPD, researchers retrospectively analyzed hospital discharge data from 2001 to 2010. Their findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society.

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Compared with the background population, patients with COPD had a higher prevalence of heart failure (27.3% vs. 15.3%; P<0.0001). When stratified by race, the prevalence of heart failure in patients with COPD versus those in the background population was 33.1% versus 17.1% for African-Americans; 27.4% versus 14.8% for patients with unreported race; and 26.8% versus 15.3% for European-Americans (all P<0.0001).

Patients diagnosed with COPD and heart failure, compared to those with COPD alone, had longer than average length of hospital stay (6.4 days versus 5.6 days), greater in-hospital mortality (5.6% versus 3.6%), and a higher rate of discharge to long-term care facilities (21.2% versus 15.7%) (all P<0.0001).

“The prevalence of heart failure is significantly higher in patients with COPD compared to the background population,” concluded the researchers.


  1. Annangi S et al. (May, 2014). Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease And Heart Failure – A Decade Analysis Of The National Hospital Discharge Survey paper presented at the American Thoracic Society Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.