Yes, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) can cause sudden death, particularly during a severe exacerbation or flare-up of symptoms. During an exacerbation, the airways become inflamed, narrowed, and filled with mucus, making it difficult for the person to breathe. This can lead to a lack of oxygen in the body, which can cause sudden cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.
Moreover, people with severe COPD often have other comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease or pulmonary hypertension, which can further increase the risk of sudden death. It’s essential for people with COPD to manage their symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if they experience any exacerbation symptoms such as increased shortness of breath, chest tightness, cough, or wheezing.
In summary, while not all cases of COPD lead to sudden death, severe exacerbations of COPD can be life-threatening, particularly in people with pre-existing cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions.