Sarcopenic Obesity, Functional Outcomes, and Systemic Inflammation in Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2016 Aug 1;17(8):712-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2016.03.020. Epub 2016 May 5.


Background: Both loss of muscle mass (ie, sarcopenia) and obesity adversely impact clinically important outcomes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Currently, there are only a few studies in patients with COPD with sarcopenia and concurrent obesity, termed sarcopenic obesity (SO).

Objective: To explore the effects of SO on exercise capacity, health status, and systemic inflammation in COPD.

Design/settings/participants: Baseline data collected from a total of 2548 participants (2000 patients with COPD, mean age (SD), 63.5 (7.1) years; and 548 controls, 54.8 (9.0) years) from ECLIPSE (Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints) study, a multicenter longitudinal observational study, were used.

Measurements: All participants were divided into 4 body composition phenotypes using bioelectrical impedance analysis: (1) normal body composition, (2) obesity, (3) sarcopenia, and (4) SO. In patients with COPD, the 6-minute walking distance, disease-specific health status, and plasma inflammatory markers were compared among the respective body composition groups.

Results: Patients with COPD were 3 times more likely to present with SO compared with controls without COPD (odds ratio [OR] 3.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.0-5.4, P < .001). In patients with COPD, SO was related to reduced 6-minute walking distance (-28.0 m, 95% CI -45.6 to -10.4), P < .01) and to higher systemic inflammatory burden (an elevation of at least 2 inflammatory markers, OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.5, P = .028) compared with the normal body composition group after adjustments for age, sex, smoking, body mass index, and airflow limitation.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that SO is associated with worse physical performance and higher systemic inflammatory burden compared with other body composition phenotypes in patients with COPD.

Trial registry: no. NCT00292552.

Keywords: 6-minute walking distance; Body composition; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; fibrinogen; sarcopenic obesity; systemic inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Comorbidity*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Inflammation*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Obesity*
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive*
  • Sarcopenia*

Associated data