Low body mass index (BMI) and malnutrition in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are associated with a poor prognosis. The prevalence of underweight, as well as overweight, in severity grades of COPD is sparsely investigated in studies of the general population and the associated patterns of risk factors are not well established. The aim of the present study was to determine the association between severity grades of airflow limitation in COPD, and both underweight and obesity when corrected for possible confounding factors. The study is based on pooled data from the OLIN (Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden) studies. Complete records with lung function, BMI and structured interview data were available from 3942 subjects (50.7% women and 49.3% men). COPD and severity grading were defined using the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease criteria. In sensitivity analyses, the lower limit of normal was used. The prevalence of underweight was 7.3% in severe COPD (grades 3 and 4) versus 2.0% in those with normal spirometry. The prevalence of obesity increased from 9.7% in grade 1, to 16.3% in grade 2 and 20.0% in severe COPD, versus 17.7% in those with normal spirometry. In adjusted analysis, of the COPD severity grades, only severe COPD was associated with underweight (OR 3.24, 95% CI 1.0004-10.5), while the COPD severity grades tended to be inversely associated with overweight.
2016. Vol. 2, no 3