Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD, is a medical term used to describe a group of chronic, inflammatory lung diseases including; emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory asthma and bronchiectasis. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the world.1 The main cause of COPD is long-term exposure to substances that irritate and damage the lungs. Long-term cigarette smoking is the biggest risk factor for developing COPD but additional risk factors include; exposure to second hand smoke, chemical fumes, dust, age and genetics.
Asthma and COPD are recognized as distinctly different diseases. Asthma typically starts in childhood and is associated with allergies and eosinophils versus COPD that occurs in adults and involves neutrophils. Asthma and COPD overlap syndrome, or ACOS, describes people who have both diseases.
A recent Canadian study found more than 40 percent of women with asthma will develop ACOS. Researchers in Ontario evaluated 4,051 women with asthma. The participants provided their health history and lifestyle. Through a medical database, researchers followed the health histories of the participants between 1992 and 2015. Additionally, using the participants postal code and satellite data, the research team estimated the women’s average exposure to pollution during that time.
Out of the more than 4,000 participants, 1,701 women (42%) developed COPD. Risk factors for developing COPD included lower education, being overweight, living in a rural area and smoking. Other studies have shown non-smoking women have a higher rate of COPD than non-smoking men suggesting women may be more susceptible to other COPD risk factors however; men were not included in this study so no comparison can be made. Thirty-four percent of the women that developed ACOS, and 19% of women who did not develop ACOS, died during this study.
One of the researchers said patients with ACOS suffer more exacerbations, are hospitalized more frequently and have a lower quality of life compared to patients with asthma or COPD alone.
Patients diagnosed with COPD and ACOS are at risk of developing additional complications including:
- Respiratory infections
- Heart problems
- Lung cancer
- High blood pressure in lung arteries
Current treatment options provide symptomatic improvement but are not curative. Conventional therapies include; a combination of pharmaceutical drugs, lifestyle changes, oxygen and as a last resort, surgery.
Stem cell therapy at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute may reduce some of they symptoms associated with COPD and may lead to a number of qualities of life improvements including:
- Easier breathing
- Improved lung function
- Increased energy
- Improved stamina
- Reduced coughing and wheezing
- Reduced number of infections
Stem cell therapy for patients with COPD, targets the destroyed lung tissue and cells causing the complications. At the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, the goal of stem cell therapy is to use your own healing cells to improve breathing, reduce inflammation and create an environment that is optimal for tissue repair and angiogenesis. Stem cell treatment along with lifestyle modification may help improve the symptoms of COPD.
Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to:
- Promote self-healing
- Have potent anti-inflammatory capabilities
- Modulate abnormal immune system responses
- Prevent additional premature cell and tissue damage
- Reduce scarring
- Stimulate new blood vessel growth improving blood flow
Contact the Stem Cells Transplant Institute today to schedule your free consultation.
Teresa To et.al., Asthma and COPD Overlap in Women: Incidence and Risk Factors. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, online July 17, 2018.