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Investigation into the nutritional status, dietary intake and smoking habits of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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Abstract Background and aims 

Weight loss and reduced fat-free mass are prevalent amongst patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the causes of this weight loss are not clear. The aims of this study are to investigate the factors affecting body weight and dietary intake in a group of outpatients with COPD, and to investigate any differences between adequately nourished and malnourished patients. Methods 

In 103 stable outpatients, nutritional status was assessed using Body Mass Index (BMI) and upper arm anthropometry. Lung function, smoking status, exercise tolerance, dietary intake, dietary problems and health-related quality of life were assessed. Patients were classed as either adequately nourished or malnourished. Results 

Twenty-three per cent of subjects were classed as malnourished. The malnourished subjects had lower lung function measurements, suffered more dietary problems and had lower nutritional intake compared with the adequately nourished subjects. They also had poorer fatigue scores. In linear regression analysis, the factors that had the most effect on BMI were a low transfer factor, presence of early satiety, and being a current smoker. Conclusion 

Important differences were found between adequately nourished and malnourished subjects. These differences move us closer to understanding how best to screen and treat this group of patients.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; health status; muscle mass; nutritional intake; smoking; weight-loss

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics 2: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust, North Tyneside General Hospital, North Shields, Tyne and Wear, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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