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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:

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, 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.

Lung Cancer Screening

Want to Quit Smoking?

Whether you're ready to quit or just thinking about it, our smoking cessation program can help. Learn more or call 1-800-NO-BUTTS.

If you have smoked at least a pack a day for 20 years with COPD, the U.S. Preventive Task Force and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommend a lung cancer screening with an annual low-dose chest computed tomography (CT) scan.

This screening has been shown to reduce the rate of death from lung cancer by 20 percent. We use low-dose CT scans to minimize radiation exposure. 

Call and schedule your screening today: 855-355-5864

Patient Education