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Is Asthma Related To Copd

Implications Of Overlapping Asthma And Copd


How-to videos available from the National Asthma Council AustraliaPatients with coexisting asthma and COPD have an increased illness burden1 compared to those with asthma or COPD alone. They have more frequent and severe exacerbations9 and hospitalisations. This is despite having had fewer pack-years of smoking than those with COPD alone.9 Mortality may also be increased.1,10

Asthma may also be a risk factor for developing COPD.1,4,11 In severe asthma, structural changes such as airway remodelling can contribute to fixed airway obstruction and smaller airway size. Single nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified in biologically plausible genes associated with asthmaCOPD overlap but their significance is unclear.9

Diagnosing Asthma And Copd With Pft

I explained how a PFT can help diagnose asthma in my post at What Are PFTs? I explained how a PFT can hep diagnose COPD in my post on this site, What Are PFTs?

So, if you read those, you know what an FEV1 is. You know how this can be used to determine if you have COPD. Still, heres a quick review. You do a PFT. You do a pre and post FVC. A computer determines your FEV1. This is the best indicator of airflow limitation.

You then use a bronchodilator. This can be either an inhaler or breathing treatment. Then you do a second FVC. Heres how you determine if its asthma or COPD.

  • COPD. By its basic definition, its persistent respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation. Your pre and post bronchodilator FEV1 is less than 80%. Your post bronchodilator FEV1 is not much different than your pre bronchodilator FEV1. This shows that airflow limitation is persistent. It is not reversed with time or treatment. This confirms a diagnosis of COPD.1
  • Asthma. By its basic definition, respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation are intermittent and vary in intensity. Asthma attacks are reversible with time or treatment. Your post bronchodilator FEV1 improves by 12% or more. This shows airflow limitation is reversible. This can help make a diagnosis of asthma. 2
  • Asthma and COPD. This is when you have both. Your airflow limitation is reversible. But, your FEV1 remains under 80% despite treatment.

Plasma And Sputum Biomarkers

The ongoing efforts in differential diagnosis of asthma-COPD overlap syndrome could not ignore plasma and sputum biomarkers. Iwamoto et al. investigated four potential biomarkers of COPD: surfactant protein a , soluble receptor for advanced glycation end-products , myeloperoxidase and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin . SP-A and sRAGE are pneumocyte-derived markers. MPO and NGAL are neutrophil-derived molecules, but NGAL can be also expressed by respiratory epithelial cells. There were five different subject groups: non-smokers, smokers, asthma patients, COPD patients, asthma-COPD overlap patients. In order to identify overlap syndrome, the researchers discovered that only sputum NGAL was significantly increased in overlap group, compared with COPD group and could differentiate patients with overlap from COPD patients. This means that elevated induced sputum levels of NGAL should point the overlap diagnosis, suggesting enhanced neutrophilic airway inflammation or airway epithelial injury in overlap, as Iwamoto and his colleagues have proven.

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Airflow Restriction: Reversible Or Permanent

  • Asthma treatment generally returns lung function to normal or near-normal and you should not have many asthma symptoms between asthma exacerbations. Airflow restriction in asthma is generally considered reversible, though some people who have severe asthma develop irreversible damage.
  • Even with COPD treatment, airflow restriction and lung function will likely not return to normal or may only partially improveeven with smoking cessation and bronchodilator usage.

Can Asthma Turn Into Copd

Asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Asthma doesnt always lead to COPD, but it is a risk factor. Lung damage caused by poorly controlled asthma along with continual exposure to irritants like cigarette smoke or occupational chemicals and fumes is irreversible and can increase a persons risk of developing the lung disease COPD. It is possible to have both asthma and COPD, a condition called Asthma-COPD overlap syndrome .

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Ask The Allergist: Does Chronic Asthma Lead To Copd

News, Ask the Allergist, Asthma

Q: Ive had severe asthma all my life. Am I at risk for developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD?

Bradley Chipps, MD: Not every person with asthma develops COPD they are two different conditions. However, we are seeing a significant number of patients who have features of both asthma and COPD and distinguishing between the two is not always easy.

Asthma is an inflammatory lung disease often associated with allergies, and symptoms vary over time and in intensity.

COPD is a progressive disease that usually develops after the age of 40. It is characterized by persistent airflow limitation and inflammation, commonly associated with exposure to noxious particles or gases primarily cigarette smoke, either from personal use or secondhand exposure, or environmental pollutants, including biomass fuels from poorly vented gas stoves.

While asthma does not automatically lead to COPD, a person whose lungs have been damaged by frequent flares of poorly controlled asthma is at increased risk of developing COPD or if they are living or working in environments where they are exposed to airborne pollutants.

Some develop Asthma/COPD Overlap , which is now being recognized more widely in the medical community.

Q: Can you stop the progression of COPD if you catch it early enough?

Q: Whats the treatment for ACO?

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Copd Vs Asthma: Which Is Worse

COPD vs. asthma causes | Prevalence | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatments | Risk factors | Prevention | When to see a doctor | FAQs | Resources

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are diseases of the lung that have a lot in common, but they also have key differences. Both conditions have similar symptoms caused by swelling of the airways or airway obstruction. Airflow limitation commonly results in breathing difficulties, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Symptoms from asthma, triggered by allergens or exercise, come and go. COPD symptoms that can be caused by long-term smoking or prolonged exposure to chemical irritants are persistent. With COPD, chronic inflammation results in irreversible damage to the tissues lining the airways as well as pathological changes to the lung.

Though both diseases are chronic, COPD is a progressive condition, meaning symptoms are constant and the condition gets worse over time. With asthma, measures can be taken to control the disorder and when managed properly, its possible not to experience any symptoms for extended periods of time. Its important to distinguish COPD from asthma to determine the best course of treatment. Lets investigate the similarities and differences between asthma and COPD.

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How Is Asthma Related To Copd

Asthma is a lifelong inflammatory disease that affects the airways of your lungs. COPD, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is also an inflammatory disease that causes airflow blockage and breathing problems.

What percentage of asthmatics get COPD?

The prevalence of asthma and COPD overlap was 1.6% , 2.1% , and 4.5% in the 2044, 4564, and 6584 age groups.

Do inhalers strengthen the lungs?

It can strengthen lung muscles, help manage your weight, and boost your immune system. Instead: Try different types of activities that are less challenging. Avoid weather conditions that could trigger symptoms.

Which Is Worse: Copd Or Asthma

Asthma vs COPD: Whats the difference?

COPD is worse than asthma. With a well-designed treatment plan, asthma symptoms can be controlled sufficiently to return lung function to normal, or very close to normal, so the condition is generally considered reversible. Though COPD symptoms can be well-managed with various treatments, the respiratory disease is irreversible, so any damage impairing lung function that has occurred cannot be restored.

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Q& a: When Youre Diagnosed With Both Asthma And Copd

When youre diagnosed with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , it can be difficult to breathe. But did you know that about 15% to 55% of adults with one of these lung diseases actually qualify for a dual diagnosis?

This dual diagnosis is called asthma-COPD overlap syndrome . People at risk for ACOS are typically those with asthma who smoke, but healthcare providers also see cases in those who dont use tobacco. The right diagnosis is important with lung conditions, and education is key to understanding treatment options. To learn more about ACOS, read the answers to some common questions below.

Are Asthma And Copd Disabilities

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America , the American Disabilities Act and Section 504 state that having a mental or physical impairment that severely limits one or more life activities, including breathing, can be considered a disability.

For people with asthma, this applies even if symptoms only show at certain times, and if the person uses medication, such as an inhaler, to control the problem.

To qualify for social security disability benefits with COPD, a person must have:

  • A forced expiratory volume one that is the minimum for your height or less, from 1.05 to a person who is 5 feet tall to 1.65 to someone who is 6 feet tall.
  • Chronic impairment of gas exchange resulting from a documented COPD.

Those who do not meet these requirements may be able to get other types of help, such as as medical-vocational allowance for people on a low income.

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How Is Asthma Related To Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

University of Nottingham
Two new studies exploring the causes and treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease could lead to the development of drugs to battle these debilitating conditions.

Two University of Nottingham studies exploring the causes and treatment of asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease could lead to the development of drugs to battle these debilitating conditions.

Though they are different diseases, asthma and COPD affect the human body in a similar way. In asthma, allergens irritate the lungs, in COPD, this is done by cigarette smoke. This irritation inflames the sufferers airways, which the muscles then close, creating a narrowing effect.

Research done at the University over the past 15 years has found that the muscle layer in the airway is more complex than has traditionally been thought. As well as going into spasm during asthma and COPD attacks the muscle layer produces a wide range of mediators and cytokines proteins that act as chemical signallers when it comes into contact with allergens or cigarette smoke. In asthma and COPD sufferers, these proteins are produced by stimulation of airway muscle cell walls in the lungs, releasing intracellular signalling proteins called transcription factors which alter the DNA of the cell and activate messenger RNA. It is these transcription factors which activate the inflammation by causing release of mediators and cytokines.

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Childhood: Risk Factors For Incomplete Lung Growth

COPD  Top 10 Causes People Should Know

Lung function in early adult life is a strong risk factor for the development of COPD. There is now evidence that poor lung function in infancy and childhood persists into adulthood, and that in utero events can modify airway function in early postnatal life. Stern et al studied lung function in infants soon after birth and found that poor airway function at that time was a risk factor for impaired adult lung function, suggesting that airway function throughout adult life may be determined during fetal development and the first few months of postnatal life. Maternal smoking adversely influences lung growth. In infancy there is an 1520% reduction in airflow in children born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy. In addition, maternal smoking is associated with impaired fetal growth, and intrauterine growth retardation is itself associated with impaired airway function in infancy and later life.

Many of the risk factors for incomplete lung growth in childhood are similar to the risk factors for accelerated loss of lung function in adults, namely tobacco smoke exposure, asthma, BHR and exacerbations or respiratory infections. Additional risk factors include low birth weight, gender , nutrition and ethnicity.


Early life infections

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Asthma Treatment Options& copd Treatment Options

In many cases, both lung diseases treatments are the same, such as Bronchodilators and inhalable steroids, but there are also a few treatment options that are specific to each condition.People with asthma may be encouraged to stay away from triggers or avoid going outdoors when pollen levels are high. In cases of people with severe asthma, a bronchial thermoplasty may be recommended. The procedure burns off some of the muscles in the airway, reducing their ability to constrict.

On the other hand, people with COPD may be encouraged to alter lifestyle habits, such as quitting smoking, to help prevent any further damage. They may also be prescribed oxygen or pulmonary rehabilitation. In severe cases of COPD, procedures like lung volume reduction surgeries and lung transplants may be suggested.

Both Asthma and COPD are treatable diseases that will require some lifestyle changes. Staying informed on your options and taking care of your health is very important in managing lung diseases. For any further questions about these conditions and their treatments, click the link below!

Comorbid Diseases Or Conditions

Comorbidity is the simultaneous existence of two or more diseases or conditions in an individual. Comorbidity for the purpose of respiratory disease in the CCDSS was defined as the co-existence in an individual of one of either asthma or COPD with diabetes, hypertension, mood and/or anxiety disorders, asthma or COPD .

For asthma, the prevalence of four comorbid diseases or conditions was calculated among those with and without asthma. For diabetes and mood and/or anxiety disorders, the prevalence was calculated for those age one and older for hypertension, it was calculated for those aged 20 years and older and for COPD, for those aged 35 years and older.

For COPD, the prevalence of COPD was reported among those with and without each of the comorbid conditions. Therefore the prevalence of COPD was calculated among those with and without diabetes, mood and/or anxiety disorders, hypertension and asthma. The prevalence was calculated among those aged 35 years and older among all four comorbid diseases or conditions, corresponding to the reporting age for COPD.

The following case definitions were used for the comorbid diseases and conditions:



Mood and/or Anxiety Disorder

Individuals aged one and older with at least one physician billing claim listing a mood and/or anxiety diagnostic code in the first field, or one hospital discharge abstract listing a mood and/or anxiety diagnostic code in the most responsible diagnosis field in a one-year period.

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Are There Lifestyle Changes That Can Help

Weve said it already, but well say it again: It’s crucial to stop smoking whether you have either condition, as it can worsen the symptoms of both conditions, says Dr. Ogden.

Another step you can take is filtering out triggers that exacerbate asthma and COPD. Since fumes, allergens, irritants, and poor ventilation can worsen both COPD and asthma, Dr. Ogden suggests getting an air purifier with a HEPA filter, , and it can filter out up to 99.97% of dust, mold, pollen, bacteria, and other airborne particles of a certain size. Its sort of like a vacuum for the air you breathe.

She also suggests using the exhaust fan on your range hood when you cook, and using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

Other small changes that can make a big difference: Avoid cleaning with products that could irritate your airways, and consider cleaning or doing activities such as gardening and yard work with a mask during peak season if youre allergic to outdoor allergens, Dr. Ogden adds.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Asthma and COPD: Acute Exacerbations

In the recent Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Guidelines , COPD is defined as follows: a disease state characterised by airflow limitation that is not fully reversible. The airflow limitation is usually progressive and associated with an abnormal response of the lungs to noxious particles or gases.

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Treatment Of Copd And Asthma


Treatment of COPD encompasses the use of various medications . Non-pharmacological interventions include health education on managing chronic illnesses, pulmonary rehabilitation with focus on physical and dietary measures, patient education, and smoking cessation intervention programs.

Treatment guidelines are shown in Table 3 Gina Box 7. Equal severity of risk are determined by post bronchodilator FEV1 or exacerbation history, supplemented by a validated symptom such as mMRC tool . The role of ICS must be carefully evaluated in patients with COPD. In patients who do not have evidence of Th2 mediated airway inflammation, withdrawal of ICS with persistence of LABA + LAMA may not lead to significant changes in health status, dyspnea or exacerbation .

Long term oxygen therapy improves mortality in COPD patients with respiratory failure but has limited effectiveness in less severe patients. It has also shown positive effects on quality of life, but not on COPD exacerbations.


The Overlap Of Asthma And Copd

There is such a thing as overlap syndrome, known as asthma chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .

COPD patients are increasingly noted to have an asthma component in addition to their COPD. Surprisingly, 1 in 4 asthma patients smokes and is at risk for COPD, like any other smoker.

Some COPD patients demonstrate asthma-like reversibility on pulmonary lung function testing referred to as an “asthma component.” If reversibility is not present, no asthma component exists. The American Thoracic Society defines reversibility as a post-bronchodilator increase in FEV1 of at least 12% for both COPD and asthma. When reversibility is present, it is generally less in a COPD patient compared to a patient with only asthma.

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