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      Impact of direct substitution of arm span length for current standing height in elderly COPD

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          Arm span length is related to standing height and has been studied as a substitute for current standing height for predicting lung function parameters. However, it has never been studied in elderly COPD patients.


          To evaluate the accuracy of substituting arm span length for current standing height in the evaluation of pulmonary function parameters and severity classification in elderly Thai COPD patients.

          Materials and methods: Current standing height and arm span length were measured in COPD patients aged >60 years. Postbronchodilator spirometric parameters, forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in first second (FEV 1), and ratio of FEV 1/FVC (FEV 1%), were used to classify disease severity according to global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease criteria. Predicted values for each parameter were also calculated separately utilizing current standing height or arm span length measurements. Student’s t-tests and chi-squared tests were used to compare differences between the groups. Statistical significance was set at P<0.05.


          A total of 106 COPD patients with a mean age of 72.1±7.8 years, mean body mass index of 20.6±3.8 kg/m 2, and mean standing height of 156.4±8.3 cm were enrolled. The mean arm span length exceeded mean standing height by 7.7±4.6 cm (164.0±9.0 vs 156.4±8.3 cm, P<0.001), at a ratio of 1.05±0.03. Percentages of both predicted FVC and FEV 1 values based on arm span length were significantly lower than those using current standing height (76.6±25.4 vs 61.6±16.8, P<0.001 and 50.8±25.4 vs 41.1±15.3, P<0.001). Disease severity increased in 39.6% (42/106) of subjects using arm span length over current standing height for predicted lung function.


          Direct substitution of arm span length for current standing height in elderly Thai COPD patients should not be recommended in cases where arm span length exceeds standing height by more than 4 cm.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Current status of research on osteoporosis in COPD: a systematic review.

           E Wouters,  R Lunde,  S M Kolk (2009)
          Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at increased risk of osteoporosis. However, the prevalence, correlates and effectiveness of treatment of osteoporosis in COPD patients remain unclear. We performed a systematic review of the literature to answer three questions. 1) What is the prevalence of osteoporosis in COPD? 2) What are identified correlates of osteoporosis in COPD? 3) What are the effects of treatment of osteoporosis in COPD? A computerised literature search in MEDLINE/PubMed and the Cochrane database was carried out. In addition, reference lists were searched by hand and authors were contacted if necessary. The prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia varied 9-69% and 27-67%, respectively. Prevalence of osteoporosis was generally higher than in healthy subjects and some other chronic lung diseases. Correlates of osteoporosis in COPD are mainly measures of body composition, disease severity and the use of corticosteroids, although causality has not been proven. Effects of treatment of osteoporosis have not been investigated in samples consisting of COPD patients only. Longitudinal follow-up to assess determinants of osteoporosis in COPD and randomised placebo-controlled trials on the effects of treatment of osteoporosis in patients with COPD only are warranted.
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            Prevalence and progression of osteoporosis in patients with COPD: results from the TOwards a Revolution in COPD Health study.

            Osteoporosis is common in patients with COPD, but its prevalence and progression are not well characterized. Concerns have been raised over the possible deleterious effect of long-term therapy with inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) on bone density in this population. Here, we investigated the long-term effects of therapy with fluticasone propionate (FP) alone, salmeterol (SAL) alone, and a SAL/FP combination (SFC) on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone fractures in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD in the TOwards a Revolution in COPD Health (TORCH) study. A randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study conducted at 88 US centers involving 658 patients (a subset of 6,184 international subjects in TORCH). Therapy with placebo, SAL (50 microg), FP (500 microg), or SFC (SAL 50 microg/FP 500 microg) twice daily was administered for 3 years. Baseline and yearly measurements of BMD at the hip and lumbar spine were performed. The incidence of traumatic and nontraumatic bone fractures was recorded. At baseline, 18% of men and 30% of women had osteoporosis, and 42% of men and 41% of women had osteopenia based on BMD assessments. Forty-three percent of subjects completed all testing. The changes in BMD at the hip and lumbar spine over 3 years were small. No significant differences were observed between treatment arms (adjusted mean percent change from baseline at hip was -3.1% for placebo, -1.7% for SAL, -2.9% for FP, and -3.2% for SFC therapy, respectively; while, the corresponding changes for the lumbar spine were 0, 1.5%, -0.3%, and -0.3% for placebo, respectively, SAL, FP, and SFC therapy). The incidence of fractures was low and was similar for all treatments (5.1% to 6.3%). Osteoporosis is highly prevalent in patients with COPD, irrespective of gender. In the TORCH study, no significant effect on BMD was detected for ICS therapy compared with placebo. Identifier: NTC00268216.
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              Performance of American Thoracic Society-recommended spirometry reference values in a multiethnic sample of adults: the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA) lung study.

              The American Thoracic Society recommends race-specific spirometric reference values from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) III for clinical evaluation of pulmonary function in whites, African-Americans, and Mexican-Americans in the United States and a correction factor of 0.94 for Asian-Americans. We aimed to validate the NHANES III reference equations and the correction factor for Asian-Americans in an independent, multiethnic sample of US adults. The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) recruited self-identified non-Hispanic white, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American participants aged 45 to 84 years at six US sites. The MESA-Lung Study assessed prebronchodilator spirometry among 3,893 MESA participants who performed acceptable tests, of whom 1,068 were asymptomatic healthy nonsmokers who performed acceptable spirometry. The 1,068 participants were mean age 65 +/- 10 years, 60% female, 25% white, 20% African-American, 23% Hispanic, and 32% Asian-American. Observed values of FEV(1), FEV(6), and FVC among whites, African-Americans, and Hispanics of Mexican origin in MESA-Lung were slightly lower than predicted values based on NHANES III. Observed values among Hispanics of non-Mexican origin were consistently lower. Agreement in classification of participants with airflow obstruction based on lower limit of normal criteria was good (overall kappa = 0.88). For Asian-Americans, a correction factor of 0.88 was more accurate than 0.94. The NHANES III reference equations are valid for use among older adults who are white, African-American, or Hispanic of Mexican origin. Comparison of white and Asian-American participants suggests that a correction factor of 0.88, applied to the predicted and lower limits of normal values, is more appropriate than the currently recommended value of 0.94.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                22 June 2015
                : 10
                : 1173-1178
                Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Allergy, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Chaicharn Pothirat, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Allergy, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, 110 Inthavaroros Road Sriphum, Maung Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand, Tel +66 53 946 228, Fax +66 53 895 117, Email cpothira@ ; chaicharn.p@
                © 2015 Pothirat et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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