Body composition by bioelectrical impedance predicts mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients

Respir Med. 2005 Aug;99(8):1004-9. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2004.09.024. Epub 2005 Apr 12.


Pulmonary rehabilitation is recommended in international treatment guidelines for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). No one has however studied the effect on long-term mortality. The aim of the current study was to study the mortality in a sample of patients with severe COPD included in a 1-year multidisciplinary rehabilitation program. Body composition was assessed at baseline using bioelectrical impedance. Mortality was studied in 86 patients using the Cox proportional hazards model. Forty-seven (55%) of the patients died during the mean follow-up time which was almost 6 years. Risk of mortality increased with increasing age, increasing number of hospital days the year before inclusion and men had higher mortality risk than women. The mortality risk decreased with increasing % reference body weight, increasing fat-free mass index (FFMI), increasing FEV(1) and increasing 6-min walking distance. Gender, age and FFMI continued to be statistical significant predictors of mortality when controlling for the other baseline variables in a multivariate analysis. To conclude, body composition, measured by bioelectrical impedance and presented as FFMI, is an independent predictor of mortality in COPD patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anthropometry / methods
  • Body Composition*
  • Cause of Death
  • Electric Impedance
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis