Body composition and sarcopenia in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Endocrine. 2018 Apr;60(1):95-102. doi: 10.1007/s12020-018-1533-4. Epub 2018 Feb 5.


Purpose: Changes in body composition are commonly present in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The main aim of this study were to evaluate changes in body composition and the prevalence of pre-sarcopenia and sarcopenia in patients with COPD, compared with two control groups and correlate these parameters with indices of COPD severity (VEF1 and GOLD) and prognosis (BODE).

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in COPD patients (DG) that undergone body composition assessment by DXA. Two control groups were used, smokers individuals without COPD (smokers group, SG), and healthy never smokers individuals (never smokers group, NSG).

Results: DG comprised 121 patients (65 women, mean age 67.9 ± 8.6 years). The percentage of total body fat mass (TFM) was significantly lower in DG in both genders, despite no difference in BMI. Both BMI and relative skeletal muscle mass index (RSMI) decreased according to the worsening of GOLD in men and women, as well as the TFM and total lean mass (TLM) in men. As BODE get worse, BMI and RSMI decreased in both sexes, as well as TLM in men. The prevalence of pre-sarcopenia in the DG was 46.3% and no different with controls. In DG 12.4% were sarcopenic. Patients with sarcopenia were older and had worse prognosis. Higher BODE prognostic index, higher the prevalence of sarcopenia (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.06-11.56, p = 0.035).

Conclusions: This study showed alterations in body composition parameters in patients with COPD. A high prevalence of sarcopenia and the association with worse prognostic index.

Keywords: BODE; Body composition; COPD; GOLD; Sarcopenia.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Sarcopenia / epidemiology*