COPD: Disease Complications

COPD can lead to a host of health conditions, many which are life-threatening.

Diseases caused by COPD include:


When another disease or disorder exists with COPD, it’s known as comorbidity.

Comorbidities can make it difficult to effectively manage COPD, especially when other risk factors (e.g., tobacco smoking) are involved.

Common comorbidities reported in patients who have COPD:

Did you know?

Over 50 percent of people with COPD have 1 to 2 comorbidities.

Overlap Syndrome

When COPD and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) exist together, it is known as overlap syndrome.

At UC San Diego Health System, many patients who have COPD are also screened for OSA as the two conditions combined significantly increase risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality.

The most common treatment for overlap syndrome (in stable patients) is non-invasive positive pressure ventilation therapies (e.g., CPAP and BIPAP) and in some patients, oxygen therapy during sleep.

Patient Education