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Eur Respir J. 2010 Nov;36(5):1027-33. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00194209. Epub 2010 Apr 22.

Body composition and plasma levels of inflammatory biomarkers in COPD.

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Dept of Thoracic Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, Jonas Lies vei, 5021 Bergen, Norway.


Previous studies suggest a relationship between systemic inflammation and body composition in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We examined the relationships between body composition (fat free mass index (FFMI) kg·m(-2) and fat mass index (FMI) kg·m(-2)) and three plasma inflammatory markers C-reactive Protein (CRP), soluble tumour necrosis factor receptor 1 (sTNF-R1) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) in 409 stable COPD patients (aged 40-75 yrs, Global Initiative for Obstructive Chronic Lung Disease (GOLD) categories II-IV, 249 male) from the Bergen COPD Cohort Study in Norway. FFMI and FMI were measured by bioelectrical impedance. Plasma CRP (μg·mL(-1)), sTNF-R1 (pg·mL(-1)) and OPG (ng·mL(-1)) were determined by enzyme immunoassays. Correlations and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used for bivariate analyses. Linear regression models were fitted for each of the three markers, CRP, sTNF-R1 and OPG, with FFMI and FMI as explanatory variables including sex, age, smoking habits, GOLD category, hypoxaemia, Charlson Comorbidity Index and inhaled steroid use as potential confounders. CRP and sTNF-R1 levels correlated positively with both FFMI and FMI. The adjusted regression coefficients for an increase in logCRP per unit increase in FFMI was 1.23 (1.14-1.33) kg·m(-2) and 24.9 (11.8-38.1) kg·m(-2) for sTNF-R1. Higher FMI was associated with a lower OPG, with adjusted regression coefficient -0.14 (-0.23- -0.04), whereas FFMI was unrelated to OPG. In conclusion, COPD patients with low FFMI had lower not higher plasma levels of CRP and sTNF-R1, whereas higher fat mass was associated with higher CRP and sTNF-R1 and lower OPG.

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