Undernutrition in patients with COPD and its treatment.Nutrients 2013; 5(4):1316-35N
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the lung and whole body caused mainly by tobacco smoking. Patients with advanced COPD are in a state of undernutrition, referred to as pulmonary cachexia; the exercise performance and quality of life (QOL) of these patients are deteriorated, the vital prognosis is unfavorable, and the medico-economic burden posed by poorly nourished COPD patients is high. The mainstays of COPD treatment are pharmacotherapy, mainly with bronchodilators, and non-pharmacotherapeutic approaches such as respiratory rehabilitation and nutrition counseling. Nutritional supplement therapy, consisting primarily of high calorie intake, has been demonstrated to be effective for maintaining and improving the muscle strength and exercise tolerance in poorly nourished COPD patients. The efficacy of intake of various nutrients, besides a high calorie intake, for amelioration of the disease state of COPD has also been reported. The roles of adipokines in the pathophysiology of COPD have begun to receive attention recently, and not only their regulatory effects on appetite and nutritional status, but also their influence on systemic inflammation have been increasingly clarified. We review the papers on COPD and nutrition and discuss the role of nutritional supplement therapy in the treatment of COPD.