21 August 2017
A low body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased mortality and low health-related quality of life in patients with COPD. The Asia-Pacific classification of BMI has a lower cutoff for overweight and obese categories compared to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification. The present study assessed patients with COPD among different BMI categories according to two BMI classification systems: WHO and Asia-Pacific.
Patients with COPD aged 40 years or older from the Korean COPD Subtype Study cohort were selected for evaluation. We enrolled 1,462 patients. Medical history including age, sex, St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ-C), the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) dyspnea scale, and post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV 1) were evaluated. Patients were categorized into different BMI groups according to the two BMI classification systems.
FEV 1 and the diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) percentage revealed an inverse “U”-shaped pattern as the BMI groups changed from underweight to obese when WHO cutoffs were applied. When Asia-Pacific cutoffs were applied, FEV 1 and DLCO (%) exhibited a linearly ascending relationship as the BMI increased, and the percentage of patients in the overweight and obese groups linearly decreased with increasing severity of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease criteria. From the underweight to the overweight groups, SGRQ-C and mMRC had a decreasing relationship in both the WHO and Asia-Pacific classifications. The prevalence of comorbidities in the different BMI groups showed similar trends in both BMI classifications systems.
The present study demonstrated that patients with COPD who have a high BMI have better pulmonary function and health-related quality of life and reduced dyspnea symptoms. Furthermore, the Asia-Pacific BMI classification more appropriately reflects the correlation of obesity and disease manifestation in Asian COPD patients than the WHO classification.