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BACKGROUND: No single biomarker currently risk stratifies chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients at the time of an exacerbation, though previous studies have suggested that patients with elevated troponin at exacerbation have worse outcomes. This study evaluated the relationship between peak cardiac troponin and subsequent major adverse cardiac events (MACE) including all-cause mortality and COPD hospital readmission, among patients admitted with COPD exacerbation. METHODS: Data from five cross-regional hospitals in England were analysed using the National Institute of Health Research Health Informatics Collaborative (NIHR-HIC) acute coronary syndrome database (2008-2017). People hospitalised with a COPD exacerbation were included, and peak troponin levels were standardised relative to the 99th percentile (upper limit of normal). We used Cox Proportional Hazard models adjusting for age, sex, laboratory results and clinical risk factors, and implemented logarithmic transformation (base-10 logarithm). The primary outcome was risk of MACE within 90 days from peak troponin measurement. Secondary outcome was risk of COPD readmission within 90 days from peak troponin measurement. RESULTS: There were 2487 patients included. Of these, 377 (15.2%) patients had a MACE event and 203 (8.2%) were readmitted within 90 days from peak troponin measurement. A total of 1107 (44.5%) patients had an elevated troponin level. Of 1107 patients with elevated troponin at exacerbation, 256 (22.8%) had a MACE event and 101 (9.0%) a COPD readmission within 90 days from peak troponin measurement. Patients with troponin above the upper limit of normal had a higher risk of MACE (adjusted HR 2.20, 95% CI 1.75-2.77) and COPD hospital readmission (adjusted HR 1.37, 95% CI 1.02-1.83) when compared with patients without elevated troponin. CONCLUSION: An elevated troponin level at the time of COPD exacerbation may be a useful tool for predicting MACE in COPD patients. The relationship between degree of troponin elevation and risk of future events is complex and requires further investigation.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis

Publication Date





2405 - 2416


COPD, CVD, exacerbation