Prevalence, associated factors, and prognostic value of sarcopenia in patients with acute exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A cohort study.


Espíndola de Araújo B(1), Teixeira PP(2), Valduga K(3), da Silva Fink J(4), Silva FM(5).
Author information:
(1)Master's Student in the Nutrition Science Postgraduate Program, Federal University of Health Sciences, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
(2)Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
(3)Endocrinology Postgraduation Program from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, RS, Brazil.
(4)Nutrition and Dietetics Division of Nossa Senhora da Conceição Hospital, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
(5)Nutrition Department and Nutrition Science Postgraduation Program of the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Besides pulmonary dysfunctions, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also frequently have systemic comorbidities. Among these, sarcopenia is associated with worse pulmonary function and clinical outcomes. Patients with acute exacerbated COPD (AECOPD) have increased systemic inflammation, which can intensify muscle dysfunction. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of sarcopenia in AECOPD patients and assess the associated factors and their prognostic value. As a secondary aim, we also assessed the performance of calf circumference (CC) to diagnose this condition. METHODS: Prospective cohort study in a Brazilian public hospital with AECOPD patients. Sarcopenia was assessed according to the recommendations from the European Working Group of Sarcopenia in Older People Consensus 2 (EWGSOP2); namely, reduced handgrip strength (HGS) combined with low fat-free mass index (FFMI) or CC. Data on clinical, nutritional, and sociodemographic features were collected. The evaluated clinical outcomes were the length of hospital stay (LOS), admission in intensive care units (ICUs), and in-hospital death. RESULTS: Among 208 patients (54.8% females, 67.6 ± 10.1 years) evaluated, 16.3% presented sarcopenia. Malnutrition (odds ratio [OR] = 16.50, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.58-76.08), and disease stages III-IV (OR = 4.05 95%CI 1.20-13.76) were associated with the presence of sarcopenia. The CC showed satisfactory performance in diagnosing sarcopenia as compared to FFMI as a marker of reduced muscle mass (kappa = 0.703; area under the receiver operating characteristic [AUC ROC] curve = 0.886; 95%CI 0.811-0.961). Sarcopenia was not associated with clinical outcomes. CONCLUSION: Almost 20% of patients in this study presented sarcopenia. Malnutrition and advanced Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stage were associated with increased chances of this condition in AECOPD patients. Reduced HSG combined with low CC may be an alternative when FFMI not be obtained for sarcopenia diagnosis.