Skip Navigation
  • Text Size: A A A
  • Print
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Tweet
  • Share

HHS HealthBeat (April 4, 2014)

COPD and thinking

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates people with the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, are at greater risk for mild cognitive impairment – a reduced capacity to do things like plan, concentrate, and make considered decisions.

Researcher Michelle Mielke of the Mayo Clinic saw this in data on more than 1,400 people in Olmsted County, Minnesota, where the clinic is located. The people had normal thinking ability at the start of the study, and were followed for about five years.  

“Individuals with a diagnosis of COPD at baseline – especially those that had a diagnosis for five years or longer – were at over a 2-fold increased risk for developing cognitive impairment.”

Smoking is a major cause of COPD.

The study in the journal JAMA Neurology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April 4, 2014