Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

COPD Health Center

Font Size

COPD Tied to Tiny Brain Bleeds, Study Finds

Likelihood increases with illness severity, researchers say

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- People with the lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at increased risk for bleeding in the brain, a new study finds.

Researchers looked at 165 people with COPD and 645 people with normal lung function and found that those with COPD were more likely to have what are called cerebral microbleeds.

The more severe a patient's breathing problems, the more likely they were to have microbleeds, according to the study, published online July 19 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Cerebral microbleeds are an indicator of disease in the brain's small blood vessels (cerebral small vessel disease), which is an important cause of age-related mental decline and disability.

It was known that people with COPD are at increased risk for large vessel disease, but these new findings "indicate that COPD might affect both large and small vessels," study author Lies Lahousse, of Ghent University Hospital in Belgium, said in a journal news release.

The results also show that methods of preventing cerebral microbleeds in COPD patients need to be developed, Lahousse said.

Although the study found a link between having COPD and higher risk of cerebral microbleeds, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

Today on WebMD

man talking to his doctor
Check your COPD risk.
woman using inhaler
What is the top cause of this condition?
 
chest x-ray
7 early warning signs.
Senior couple stretching
10 exercises for people With COPD.
 
Bronchitis Overview
Article
Senior woman blowing dandelion
ARTICLE
 
Living With Copd
VIDEO
human lung graphic
Article
 
Energy Boosting Foods
Slideshow
lung cancer overview slideshow
Article
 
mature man coughing
Article
Senior couple stretching
Slideshow