Body weight in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The National Institutes of Health Intermittent Positive-Pressure Breathing Trial

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1989 Jun;139(6):1435-8. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/139.6.1435.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Weight*
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Breathing
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / pathology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity
  • Respiration*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Total Lung Capacity