COPD symptoms affected by hot and cold temperatures

A summary of research published in ERJ Open Research

Hot and cold temperatures can affect symptoms of a person living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to new findings. This is particularly important now due to climate change. This study aimed to look at how temperature changes can impact people living with COPD. The findings have been published in the European Respiratory Journal Open Research.


What did the study look at?

The study included a small sample of 30 people with COPD. Researchers monitored participants for 4 separate 30-day periods to look at how their symptoms changed. They also measured air temperatures over the same periods to look for any patterns.

What do the results show?

People exposed to higher temperatures were more likely to find that their breathing symptoms got worse. These symptoms included breathlessness, wheeze and a tight chest. In lower temperatures, people were more likely to experience a trigger of cough and phlegm symptoms.

Why is this important?

These findings support a growing amount of evidence that suggests temperature can play a role in triggering a flare up of COPD symptoms. It is important both for people with COPD and their healthcare professionals to look at temperature as a possible cause for worsening symptoms. Lifestyle changes may help to prevent this.

Further reading

Read the original research paper

Title: The impact of personal and outdoor temperature exposure during cold and warm seasons on lung function and respiratory symptoms in COPD