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  1. Wisia Wedzicha, Editor in Chief

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It is now recognised that, in addition to progressive lung inflammation, COPD is also associated with systemic inflammation that may account for some of the morbidity and mortality (especially cardiovascular) associated with this condition. In this issue of Thorax we publish three papers on the subject of systemic inflammatory markers in COPD. Yende and colleagues show that plasma interleukin-6 is raised in COPD and is related inversely to quadriceps strength and poor exercise performance. Broekhuizen and colleagues show that raised C-reactive protein (CRP) is associated with reduced exercise capacity and poor health status. Pinto-Plata and colleagues also show that CRP levels are raised in COPD independently of clinically significant cardiac disease and related to 6 minutes walking time, but they found in addition that the CRP level was lower in patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids. In the accompanying editorial, Sin and Man show the relationship between …

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