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© 2010 Health Alliance Plan of Michigan
Even Mild COPD Afects the Heart
Everything in the body is connected to something else. The lungs are no exception. It’s true that having severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can harm the heart.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine also found that having mild COPD causes wear and tear on the heart. The researchers gave breathing tests to more than 2,800 people to measure lung health. Each person also had an imaging scan of the heart to check the heart’s strength. Even people with mild lung disease had weakened hearts.
Why Is This a Problem?
A weak heart can’t pump as much blood with each beat. That means the body’s tissues don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients.
When the heart becomes very weak, it is called heart failure. This doesn’t mean the heart isn’t working at all. But people with heart failure often feel tired. They may have breathing problems. And fuid can build up in their lungs.
What Can You Do?
By managing your COPD, you may keep your heart strong. A healthy lifestyle does wonders, too. Stay physically active and eat a healthy diet. If you take medicine for COPD, high blood pressure or cholesterol, take it as prescribed. After all, everything is connected.
HAP’s HealthTrack Program has registered Nurse Health Coaches, as well as behavioral health specialists and pharmacists, who will help you sort out any questions or problems you may be having with your health. Give us a call toll-free at (800) 288-2902. Or if you’d like more information or tools for any of the conditions we discuss in this newsletter, our Web site hap.org is a great reference that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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