Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular (CV) disease, one of the most frequent causes of death in COPD patients. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the prognostic value of non-invasive CV risk markers in COPD patients. METHODS:
CV risk was prospectively evaluated in 287 COPD patients using non-invasive markers including the Framingham score, the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) charts, coronary arterial calcium (CAC), epicardial adipose tissue (EAT), as well as clinical, biochemical and physiological variables. The predictive power of each parameter was explored using CV events as the main outcome. RESULTS:
During a median follow up of 65 months (ICR: 36-100), 44 CV events were recorded, 12 acute myocardial infarctions (27.3%), 10 ischemic heart disease/angina (22.7%), 12 peripheral artery disease events requiring surgery (27.3%) and 10 strokes (22.7%). A total of 35 CV deaths occurred during that period. Univariable analysis determined that age, hypertension, CRP, total Cholesterol, LDL-Cholesterol, Framingham score and CAC were independently associated with CV events. Multivariable analysis identified CAC as the best predictor of CV events (HR; 95%CI: 1.32; 1.19-1.46, p < 001). CONCLUSIONS:
In COPD patients attending pulmonary clinics, CAC was the best independent non-invasive predictor of CV events. This tool may help evaluate the risk for a CV event in patients with COPD. Larger studies should reproduce and validate these findings.