Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are two diseases that often coexist within a patient.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a condition that describes the progressive deterioration of the respiratory system by pulmonary airway obstruction, emphysema and decreased airflow. COPD also refers to lung disorders such as chronic bronchitis, and in some cases, chronic asthma.


According to the American Thoracic Society, patients with COPD have a higher prevalence of sleep disorders than the general population, with close to 50% of patients reporting significant disturbance in sleep quality.

Co-existence of both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) occurs in 1% of adults1.


The mechanisms underlying chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are still unclear, but may involve systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction (when the inner lining of blood vessels does not function normally) and tonic elevation of sympathetic neural activity (elevation of blood pressure)2.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) are often referred to as overlap syndrome. Both COPD and OSA are independent risk factors for the following:

  • Arrhythmia
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Other cardiovascular disease 


Studies have shown that patients with untreated overlap syndrome have a higher mortality rate1.

We at ResMed strive to impact comorbidity and improve quality of life. We offer a range of treatment options to alleviate the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 


  • 01

    Ruth Lee, Walter T. McNicholas. Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2011;17(2):79-83.

  • 02

    Carlos Zamarrón, Vanesa García Paz, Emilio Morete, and Felix del Campo Matías. Association of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and obstructive sleep apnea consequences. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. Dec 2008; 3(4): 671–682.

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