Background The risk and outcomes of stroke in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations (COPDe) remain unclear. We examined whether patients with COPDe faced increased risk of stroke or post-stroke outcomes. Methods Using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database, we identified 1918 adults with COPDe and selected comparison cohorts of 3836 adults with COPD no exacerbations and 7672 adults without COPD who were frequency matched by age and sex in 2000-2008 (Study 1). Stroke event was identified during 2000-2013 follow-up period. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of stroke associated with COPDe were calculated. In a nested cohort study (Study 2) of 261686 new-diagnosed stroke patients in 2000-2009, we calculated adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs of adverse events after stroke in patients with COPDe. Results Patients with COPDe had increased stroke incidence, with an adjusted HR of 1.28 (95% CI, 1.03-1.59). In the Study 2, COPDe were associated with post-stroke mortality (OR, 1.34, 95% CI 1.20-1.52), epilepsy (OR, 1.43; 95% CI, (1.22-1.67), and pneumonia (OR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.39-1.62). Previous intubation for COPD and inpatient admissions due to COPD were factors associated with post-stroke adverse events. Conclusion Patients who have had COPDe face increased risks of stroke and post-stroke adverse events.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0169429
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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