This study reviews the relationship between body weight, pulmonary function, and survival in the recent clinical trial of intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB). We related body weight, expressed as a percent of the ideal (%IBW), to the numerous other features of the disease recorded in this data set. Body weight was directly related to FEV1 (p = 0.0001), so that all subsequent analyses of body weight had to first consider FEV1. Mortality appeared to be influenced by body weight independent of FEV1. In patients with %FEV1 less than 35, mortality increased with decreasing body weight (p = 0.093), and this relationship was stronger in patients with %FEV1 35 to 47 (p = 0.048) and even stronger in patients with %FEV1 greater than 47 (p = 0.007). After adjusting for FEV1, body weight was a powerful positive correlate with exercise capacity (p = 0.0001). Body weight was also inversely related to %TLC (p = 0.0408) after adjusting for FEV1. Body weight was a powerful predictor of diffusing capacity (p = 0.0001) in patients with the same FEV1. These results support the hypothesis that factors related to nutritional status are an independent influence on the course of COPD.