Treating the systemic effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

C. F. Vogelmeier, E.F.M. Wouters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


Many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also suffer from other disorders that are considered to be comorbidities and that may have a major impact on morbidity and mortality. So far, it is not clear if these diseases in the context of COPD need specific drugs or if patients diagnosed with COPD should receive certain medications to prevent the development of systemic effects of COPD. Cachexia may be caused by many contributing factors and thus may prove to be very difficult to reverse. For the treatment of osteoporosis in patients with COPD, treatment recommendations have been published. COPD is associated with reduced systemic levels of vitamin D, which has not only calcemic, but also extracalcemic effects that may play a role in the development of COPD and its consequences. Available evidence suggests that statins have a high potential, although definitive studies have not been published yet. Physical inactivity may be a major cause for systemic inflammation. In turn, exercise training may be an effective form of therapy. Although smoking cessation is very effective, it is not successful in the majority of cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-9
JournalProceedings of the American Thoracic Society : an official publication of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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