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Dr. Flemings
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, can lead to other health problems. Dr. Mansfield, can you tell us about some of the possible complications of COPD?

Dr. Mansfield
Definitely, Dr. Flemings. The body needs oxygen to function properly. When the body doesn't receive enough oxygen, as happens in COPD, a number of problems can develop.

Potential complications of COPD include:

  • Irregular heartbeat, called arrhythmia
  • Right-sided heart failure, called cor pulmonale
  • Pneumonia, or inflammation of the lungs
  • Pneumothorax, which is a collapsed lung
  • Increased risk for lung cancer
  • Severe weight loss and malnutrition
  • Thinning of the bones, called osteoporosis
  • Debilitation, and
  • Increased anxiety