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Underweight COPD patients ‘have higher death risk’

Being underweight puts COPD patients at a higher risk of death, say European researchers.

The study of 552 patients in primary and secondary care showed those who are underweight were 1.7 times more likely to die over five years, compared with COPD patients at a normal weight.

The analysis also showed COPD patients with heart disease or cardiac failure were 1.9 times more likely to die than people diagnosed with COPD alone.

The results remained significant even when taking into account age, sex, lung function and smoking.

Presenting the findings at Dr Bjorn Stallberg, from Uppsala University in Sweden, said: ‘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.'

European Respiratory Society Annual Congress, abstract number 4413/2961