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Pulmonary rehabilitation effective for both obese and slim COPD patients
Date:5/16/2010

ATS 2010, NEW ORLEANS Obese patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) stand to gain as much from pulmonary rehabilitation as their slimmer counterparts, even though as a group they have a lower exercise capacity, according to new research from the University Hospitals of Leicester in the UK.

"Like the healthy population, the prevalence of obesity is increasing in those with COPD," said Neil Greening, M.B.B.S, M.R.C.P., who led the study. "There is evidence that obesity may lower exercise capacity but at the same time appears to confer a survival advantage, which is known as the obesity paradox. Pulmonary rehabilitation is effective in improving exercise capacity and health status in COPD but it is unclear whether these benefits accrue in patients with extreme obesity. We wanted to compare the outcomes of a pulmonary rehabilitation program in patients with obesity of varying severity and normal weight subjects."

The results of their study will be reported at the ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans.

To compare the effects of pulmonary rehabilitation between obese and non-obese patients, Dr. Greening and colleagues recruited patients with clinical and spirometric COPD and classified them according to their level of obesity, from normal weight (BMI 21-25kg/m2) to extreme obesity (BMI >40 kg/m2). The patients underwent pulmonary rehabilitation at a single center in the UK. The improvements in their exercise performance and endurance, as well as their health status (chronic respiratory questionnaire) and baseline characteristics were assessed.

"We found that obese people with COPD are more disabled in terms of exercise capacity, despite having less severe airflow obstruction (the measure used to quantify severity of COPD). However, they do just as well with rehab including those with extreme obesity," said Dr. Greening. "There is no difference between obesity subgroups in the proportion of patients ac
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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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