Bronchiectasis patients with a low BMI had worse FVC % predicted and FEV1 % predicted than normal or high BMI patients with the condition, according to a new study in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation. The authors noted that these underweight bronchiectasis patients did not have an increased risk of hospitalization or increased mortality, however.

At the baseline visit, the mean BMI was 22.84kg/m2 (SD=4.37) across all 496 included patients; 61 (12.3%) were underweight by BMI, 317 (63.9%) were of normal weight, 86 (17.3%) were overweight, and 32 (6.5%) were obese. The underweight group of patients had significantly lower lung function than the other weight groups (FVC % predicted 68.8%±21.1%, p<0.0001 and FEV1 % predicted 64.5%±22.18%, p=0.02), however no significant differences were measured among the different BMI groups with regards to exacerbation frequency, hospitalizations, or lung resections.

Despite this association of lower BMI with lower lung function, lower BMI did not appear to be associated with what are considered the main markers of disease severity and those that are considered to affect disease prognosis: hospitalization rates and frequency of exacerbations. Of note, the frequency of exacerbations in our subgroup was lower than the frequency of exacerbations over the preceding 2 years that was reported in the US BRR “First Look” paper (1.62±2.2, compared with 3.0±2.7)

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