A recent study indicates that because patients with arterial hypertension can be considered at-risk for COPD, they should be screened for the disorder even in the absence of respiratory symptoms. The study was led by researchers at the Federal University of Goiás and Clínica do Aparelho Respiratório (CLARE) in Brazil. A Pulmonary Hypertension News report notes that as the prevalence of COPD among patients with arterial hypertension is not clear, the research team aimed to address this question.

The researchers analyzed a cohort of 316 adult participants aged 40 years or older with arterial hypertension and tobacco/occupational exposure being treated in three primary health care facilities in Goiania, Brazil. Patients were analyzed through a respiratory questionnaire and spirometry, and COPD was defined as a value of forced vital capacity and/or forced expiratory volume in 1 second lower than 0.70.

The research team found that 73.7% of the patients in the cohort reported at least one respiratory symptom, while 26.3% had no respiratory symptoms. The Pulmonary Hypertension News report also indicates that from the arterial hypertension group of patients with respiratory symptoms, 17.6% were diagnosed with COPD, and in the group without respiratory symptoms, 12% were diagnosed with COPD.

In terms of previously undiagnosed COPD prevalence, the team reported that it was higher among patients with no respiratory symptoms in comparison to those who had experienced respiratory symptoms, as indicated in the Pulmonary Hypertension News report. The team found no correlation between pulmonary function features and blood pressure values.

According to Pulmonary Hypertension News, the research team concluded that irrespective of the presence of respiratory symptoms, individuals aged 40 years or older with arterial hypertension and tobacco/occupational exposure should perform a spirometry test for the screening and possible diagnosis of COPD.

Source: Pulmonary Hypertension News