09 December 2014
The prevalence and mortality of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in elderly patients are increasing worldwide. Low body mass index (BMI) is a well-known prognostic factor for COPD. However, the obesity paradox in elderly patients with COPD has not been well elucidated. We investigated the association between BMI and in-hospital mortality in elderly COPD patients.
Using the Diagnosis Procedure Combination database in Japan, we retrospectively collected data for elderly patients (>65 years) with COPD who were hospitalized between July 2010 and March 2013. We performed multivariable logistic regression analysis to compare all-cause in-hospital mortality between patients with BMI of <18.5 kg/m 2 (underweight), 18.5–22.9 kg/m 2 (low–normal weight), 23.0–24.9 kg/m 2 (high–normal weight), 25.0–29.9 kg/m 2 (overweight), and ≥30.0 kg/m 2 (obesity) with adjustment for patient backgrounds.
In all, 263,940 eligible patients were identified. In-hospital mortality was 14.3%, 7.3%, 4.9%, 4.3%, and 4.4%, respectively, in underweight, low–normal weight, high–normal weight, overweight, and obese patients. Underweight patients had a significantly higher mortality than low–normal weight patients (odds ratio [OR]: 1.55, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.48–1.63), whereas lower mortality was associated with high–normal weight (OR: 0.76, CI: 0.70–0.82), overweight (OR: 0.73, CI: 0.66–0.80), and obesity (OR: 0.67, CI: 0.52–0.86). Higher mortality was significantly associated with older age, male sex, more severe dyspnea, lower level of consciousness, and lower activities of daily living.