Among 810 people over age 55, those with the common condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were nearly 45% more likely to have cerebral microbleeds, or episodes of bleeding in the brain, than those with normal lung function. Damage in small brain vessels can lead to cognitive decline and disability.

Theory: The increased inflammation and/or reduced oxygen in COPD patients may cause blood vessel damage.

If you have COPD: Talk to your doctor about lowering your risk for microbleeds with steps such as reducing hypertension.

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