Blood tests may predict COPD flare-ups

Posted: 6/17/2013

From Medline Plus:

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who have signs of chronic inflammation in their blood are more likely to have flare-ups of the lung disease than those who do not, a large new study shows.

In addition to the slow, steady deterioration in lung function caused by COPD, patients can have sudden, distressing flare-ups. These so-called "exacerbations" are periods of worsening breathing problems that are typically triggered by infections or air pollution.

Patients who experience frequent flare-ups decline more quickly than those who do not; they also tend to have worse quality of life and poorer survival rates than those whose conditions are more stable, according to background information in the study. Read more.