Effect of nutritional status on exercise performance in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1989 Dec;140(6):1544-8. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/140.6.1544.


The purpose of our study was to examine the nutritional status of patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (mean predicted FEV1, 30 +/- 11%) and to explore its relationship to functional capacity. Functional capacity was evaluated by measuring peak oxygen consumption (VO2max) using an incremental cycle ergometry test, a 6-min walk test, self-perceived level of dyspnea, and quality of life. The percentage ideal body weight (%IBW) was less than 90% in 33 of 135 subjects. Triceps skinfold thickness was less than 60% of normal in 19 of 33 of these subjects. Total lymphocyte count was not different between groups, whereas hemoglobin (14.9 versus 15.9 g/dl) and albumin (4.0 versus 4.1 g/dl) were marginally reduced in underweight subjects. Dyspnea and overall quality of life were unaffected by nutritional status. Maximal inspiratory (Pimax) and expiratory mouth pressures (PEmax) were weakly associated with %IBW (R2 = 0.04; p = 01 and R2 = 0.15; p less than 0.01, respectively). The %IBW was a predictor of VO2max (percent predicted) after controlling for FEV1 in regression analysis (partial R2 = 0.08; p less than 0.001). Despite the association of weight status with VO2max, the 6-min walk was not influenced by %IBW. The perceived intensity of exercise as judged by the Borg score was far greater with the bicycle exercise that with the 6-min walk (mean score, 10.6 +/- 1.2 versus 4.6 +/- 1.9). This was supported by the difference in heart rate after these two tests.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiratory Mechanics*