Changes in body composition in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: do they influence patient-related outcomes?

E.P. Rutten*, P.M. Calverley, R. Casaburi, A. Agusti, P. Bakke, B. Celli, H.O. Coxson, C. Crim, D.A. Lomas, W. MacNee, B.E. Miller, S.I. Rennard, P.D. Scanlon, E.K. Silverman, R. Tal-Singer, J. Vestbo, M.L. Watkins, E.F.M. Wouters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims: The follow-up of the ECLIPSE study, a prospective longitudinal study to identify and define parameters that predict disease progression over 3 years in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), allows the examination of the effect of body composition changes on COPD-related outcomes. Methods: Body composition and health status were established in 2,115 COPD patients, 327 smoking and 239 nonsmoking controls at baseline and 3 years, while mortality was recorded in year 2 and 3 in the COPD patients. Associations between fat free mass index (FFMI) and fat mass index (FMI) changes to deterioration in health status and mortality were determined. Results: Change in FFMI and FMI over 3 years was small and comparable between the groups. Underweight and obese patients had the worst health status. Worsening health status was associated with FFMI decrease in underweight patients and FMI increase in overweight/obese patients. While overweight patients had the lowest mortality, FFMI or FMI decrease was associated with a higher mortality. Conclusion: Changes in body composition over 3 years were small and comparable in COPD patients and control subjects. Nevertheless, muscle mass decline in underweight and fat mass increase in overweight/obese patients is associated with worsening health status. Overweight is associated with decreased mortality, but muscle mass and fat mass decline are detrimental for mortality. (c) 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-247
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Body composition
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Fat free mass index
  • Fat mass index
  • Health status
  • Mortality
  • COPD

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