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High temperatures and humidity associated with summer can bring complications to patients suffering from COPD.

Май 29, 2018

With the increase of heat, the body needs an additional effort to maintain a normal temperature, however, this effort requires more oxygen and therefore, patients with COPD may have difficulties to breathe and supply this need. Indeed, heat stress increases the risk of mortality up to 43% in COPD patients. (1)

In turn, high temperatures impact air quality, which increases the number of pollutants in the air and therefore, a greater number of exacerbations for COPD patients. (2,3)

According to a study carried out by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, COPD participants exposed to warmer temperatures, showed a worsening in their symptoms no matter if they were inside or outdoors. (4)

It’s important to know how to manage the symptoms of COPD in summer time in order to prevent acute exacerbations and improve the quality of your life. Don’t forget to maximize hydration and keep always informed about forecast variations to plan all your activities.


  1. Gotschke J, Mertsch P, Bischof M, Kneidinger N, Matthes S, Renner ED, et al. (2017) Perception of climate change in patients with chronic lung disease. PLoS ONE 12(10): e0186632.
  2. Hansel, N., McCormack, M., and V. Kim. The Effects of Air Pollution and Temperature on COPD. COPD. 2016. 13(3):372-9.
  3. Rice Mary. Doctor, It’s So Hot I Can’t Breathe!. Ann Am Thorac Soc 2016; Vol. 13, No. 12, pp 2107–2108
  4. McCormack MC, Belli AJ, Waugh D, Matsui EC, Peng RD, Williams D, Paulin L, Saha A, Aloe CM, Diette GB, et al. Respiratory effects of indoor heat and the interaction with air pollution in COPD. Ann Am Thorac Soc 2016;13:2125–2131.