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Exfoliation Syndrome May Up Risk for COPD

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 -- Patients with exfoliation syndrome (XFS) may be at increased risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published in the January-February issue of Ophthalmology Glaucoma.

Samuel C. Taylor, from the University of Utah School of Medicine and John Moran Eye Center in Salt Lake City, and colleagues used Utah Population Database-linked medical records to identify 2,943 patients with XFS, 20,589 patients with COPD, and 162 patients with both disorders. All patients were seen between 1996 and 2015.

The researchers found that in patients with XFS, risk for a COPD diagnosis was increased versus non-XFS controls (odds ratio, 1.41), particularly in a subset of tobacco users (odds ratio, 2.17). There was no difference in risk for an XFS diagnosis between COPD patients and controls. Better survival was seen among COPD patients with XFS versus patients with COPD and no XFS history.

"Exfoliation syndrome is also associated with many systemic disorders, including cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, and hearing loss. With these serious associations, a greater mortality rate would be expected but has not been reported," a coauthor said in a statement. "In the current study, we found that patients with XFS and COPD actually live longer than those with COPD but without XFS. The lungs contain a large amount of elastic tissue. This work strongly suggests that XFS provides some factor, as yet to be discovered, which prolongs life and counterbalances the presence of the diseases mentioned above."

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Posted: March 2019

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