If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you are more likely to have other health problems, too. These are called co-morbidities. People with COPD tend to have more health problems than people who don’t have COPD.
Having other health problems can affect your symptoms and treatments. You may need to visit your doctor more often. You also may need to have more tests or treatments.
Having COPD is a lot to manage. But try to stay positive. You can protect your health by understanding why you are at risk for certain conditions and learning how to prevent them.
If you have COPD, you are more likely to have:
Why people with COPD often have other health problems is not always clear.
Work closely with your doctor to keep COPD and other medical problems under control. Taking the following steps can also help protect your health:
Remember that you're not alone. Your doctor will work with you to help you stay healthy and as active as possible.
You should call your doctor when:
Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Vancouver (WA): Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD); 2013.
Panetta NL, Krachman S, Chatila WM. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and its comorbidities. Panminerva Med. 2009;51(2):115-23.
Patel AR, Hurst JR.Extrapulmonary comorbidities in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: state of the art. Expert Rev Respir Med. 2011;5(5):647-62.
Qaseem A, Wilt TJ, Weinberger SE, Hanania NA, Criner G, van der Molen T, et al. Diagnosis and Management of Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Clinical Practice Guideline Update from the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society, and European Respiratory Society. Ann Intern Med. 2011;155(3):179-191.
Updated by: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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