Background: Interrelations of body composition and quality of life in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are important, since low body mass index (BMI) and muscle atrophy are basic factors of low exercise capacity and have reliable predictive value of the progressing disease. The aim of our study was to assess how body composition affects the quality of life, exercise capacity and respiratory function of COPD patients
Methods: We performed body composition measurements on 120 COPD patients of the National Koranyi Institute for Pulmonology in Budapest between February 1, 2019 and February 1, 2020, using OMRON Healthcare BF511 body composition analyser. The disease-specific COPD Assessment Test (CAT) questionnaire measured the quality of life; respiratory function and anthropometric data were extracted from the electronic health record system.
Results: Underweight patients (10.8%) were less work loading (6MWD (m) 250 vs. 320; p=0.098) and had significantly lower quality of life (CAT: 32 (29-36) vs. 28 (23.5-30) vs. 24 (16-30); p=0.004), than normal or overweight patients. Those with higher body fat percentage (women: 36-42%, men: 25-30%) had better lung function (FEV1) and significantly better quality of life (CAT). Muscle percentage correlated also significantly with 6-minute walking distance (6MWD: ρ=0.514; p <0.001) and quality of life (CAT: ρ=-0.344; p <0.001).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that measurement and assessment of body composition is useful in managing COPD patients and should routinely be performed during therapy, thus we propose to add body composition assessment to the COPD severity assessment (BODE index).