By Robert Preidt
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.
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.