Being underweight increases the risk of death for patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). That is according to a recent study presented at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Amsterdam.
The study, which evaluated the connection between mortality rate and weight, examined 552 patients in primary care through the use of a standard questionnaire. Participants reported their age, education, smoking status and level of care, while researchers also assessed lung function and history of comorbidities.
After taking into account age, sex, lung function and smoking, researchers found that COPD patients who are underweight were 1.7 times more likely to die over a five-year period, compared to COPD patients at a normal weight. The study also found that COPD patients with heart disease or cardiac failure were 1.9 times more likely to die than those patients diagnosed with COPD alone.
“As the population is aging, people are more likely to suffer from more than one condition at the any given time. It will be important for clinicians to recognize other symptoms outside of their specialist area to ensure patients are receiving all the necessary treatment,” said Dr. Björn Ställberg, from Uppsala University in Sweden, in an article published on the European Respiratory Society’s website. “The findings of this study have shown that heart disease and being underweight are very serious conditions and therefore should be taken into consideration when managing patients with COPD.”