PURPOSE: Studies have confirmed correlation between Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). However, to date, no studies have analyzed correlation between exacerbations of COPD (ECOPD) and MetS. Aim of this preliminary study was to examine if presence of MetS increases the frequency and duration of ECOPD.
METHODS: Patients with COPD were prospectively enrolled and followed between March 2008 and September 2009. Medical records, pulmonary function tests, chest X-rays; laboratory test results were gathered to establish the presence of COPD and MetS. Patients were divided in two groups; with and without MetS. The ECOPD was defined as worsening of symptoms requiring increased use of rescue medications and/or need for either systemic steroids or antibiotics or that led to emergency room visit or hospitalizations during 12 months follow-up.
RESULTS: A total of 106 patients were recruited, 29 with MetS and 77 without. The mean exacerbation of COPD frequency was 2.4 ± 0.8 in MetS group versus 0.68 ± 0.6 in the control group during the follow-up period (P < 0.001). Mean duration of each exacerbation was 7.5 ± 1.5 days in patients with MetS versus 5 ± 2.4 days in patients without. Serum C-reactive protein, fasting blood glucose, and triglycerides were positively and significantly correlated with exacerbation frequency.
CONCLUSION: Present preliminary study demonstrates an association between ECOPD and its duration with the MetS. The systemic inflammation induced by common cytokines may explain the linkage between the two conditions.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: COPD and MetS share common pathophysiologic features; chronic systemic inflammation has been implicated as a major causative factor for both disorders. Recently, it has been shown that the presence of MetS is frequent in patients with COPD. MetS may be a risk factor for increased number of exacerbation and its duration in COPD patients due to the shared inflammatory cytokine burden.
DISCLOSURE: Elif Kupeli, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information