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COPD and other health problems

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - comorbidities; COPD - comorbidities

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you are more likely to have other health problems, too. These are called comorbidities. People with COPD tend to have more health problems than people who do not 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.

Other Health Problems you may Have

If you have COPD, you are more likely to have:

Many factors play a role in why people with COPD often have other health problems. Smoking is one of the biggest culprits. Smoking is a risk factor for most of the problems above.

Staying Healthy With COPD

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 are not alone. Your doctor will work with you to help you stay as healthy and active as possible.

When to Call the Doctor

You should contact your doctor when:


Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) website. Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: 2023 report. Accessed October 26, 2023.

Han MK, Lazarus SC. COPD: clinical diagnosis and management. In: Broaddus VC, Ernst JD, King TE, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 64.

Rochester CL, Nici L. Pulmonary rehabilitation. In: Broaddus VC, Ernst JD, King TE, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 139.


Review Date: 10/13/2023  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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