Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) | Complications


What are the complications of COPD?

If you have COPD, you are at risk for complications, including:

  • Heart problems: COPD can cause an irregular heartbeat (called arrhythmia) and heart failure.
  • High blood pressure: COPD can cause high pressure in the vessels that bring blood to your lungs. This is called pulmonary hypertension.
  • Respiratory infections: You are more likely to have frequent colds, the flu, or even pneumonia. These infections can make your symptoms worse or cause more lung damage. You should have a flu shot every year and talk to your doctor about whether you need a pneumonia shot. You are less likely to get flu or pneumonia if you have these shots.

A note about vaccines

Sometimes the amount of a certain vaccine cannot keep up with the number of people who need it. More info...


See a list of resources used in the development of this information.

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 08/12
Created: 08/01