Study results are confirming previous research indicating that arthritis is associated with a higher prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among people living in the United States.

The prevalence of COPD was nearly 50% higher among patients with arthritis compared with those without arthritis, even after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, risk behaviors, frequent distress, and asthma status. These findings were published in Preventing Chronic Disease, a publication of the CDC.

The 2 conditions come with many of the same risk factors, including sex, age, lower socioeconomic status, tobacco use, and obesity, and most prior research has focused on determining the relationship between COPD and arthritis by controlling for these common factors. However, this research has not touched on the relationship among subgroups with or without the risk factors.

Taking these into account, the study found that the age-adjusted prevalence of COPD was higher among those with arthritis in most racial and ethnic groups. And while the prevalence of COPD was low in certain subgroups, including in younger adults, college graduates, and those who never smoked, those with arthritis in these subgroups were still significantly more likely to report COPD compared with those without.

A version of this article was originally published by the American Journal of Managed Care. Visit AJMC.com to view the full article.