A low body mass index has been associated with high mortalities in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and studies reveal that obesity aggravates the clinical effects of COPD. We investigated the impact of obesity on patients newly identified with COPD.
This population-based, cross-sectional study, used data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) conducted from 2010 to 2012. Through analyses of data from this survey, we compared concurrent comorbid diseases, symptoms, and lung functions between an obese and nonobese group of patients with COPD.
In total, 618 participants were diagnosed with COPD and the average forced expired volume in 1 s (FEV 1) was 79.47%±0.69%. Of the total, 30.5% of the subjects were categorized into an obese group. Subjects in the obese group were likely to have metabolic syndrome ( P<0.001), hypertension ( P=0.02), and a higher number of comorbidities compared to the nonobese group (2.3±0.1 vs 2.0±0.1, P=0.02). In addition, subjects in the obese group showed a lower forced vital capacity (FVC) than subjects in the nonobese group, even after adjusting for covariates (average FVC%, 89.32±1.26 vs 92.52%±0.72%, P=0.037). There were no significant differences in the adjusted FEV 1% and adjusted FEV 1/FVC between the groups.
Among subjects newly identified with mild COPD, participants in the obese group had more comorbid conditions and showed a lower FVC compared with subjects in the nonobese group, even after adjustment of covariates. These findings show that a combination of obesity and COPD may be a severe phenotype; therefore, early attention should be paid to obesity for the management of COPD patients.