RA and COPD
A study funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research found that men with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are 47 percent more likely than those in the general population to be hospitalized with the disease, if they also have rheumatoid disease (arthritis). For women with both diseases, the risk of hospitalization is an alarming 61 percent higher.
COPD caused by rheumatoid arthritis
The culprit? The body-wide inflammation that RD, an autoimmune disease, causes as it forces the body’s immune system to attack its own synovial tissues, including the linings of the joints, heart and lungs, vascular system, and other organs and soft tissues.Inflammation and COPDInflammation is linked to COPD, a group of lung diseases that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and sometimes, asthma. Many of the inflammation markers found in RD are elevated in this group of lung diseases, as well.Causes of COPDAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “In the U.S., tobacco smoke is the key factor in the development of COPD.” Other factors may include airborne pollutants in the home or workplace, genetics, or in some cases, respiratory infections. COPD causes shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing, which can severely limit activity at home and at work. It mostly affects people ages 65 years old and older.
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