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Supplementary information files for Body mass index across adulthood and the development of airflow obstruction and emphysema

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posted on 2023-08-09, 11:08 authored by Ruth E Trethewey, Nicole L Spartano, Ramachandran S Vasan, Martin G Larson, George T O’Connor, Dale EsligerDale Esliger, Emily PetherickEmily Petherick, Michael C Steiner

Supplementary files for article Body mass index across adulthood and the development of airflow obstruction and emphysema

Background: Low body mass index (BMI) is associated with COPD, but temporal relationships between airflow obstruction (AO) development and emphysematous change are unclear. We investigated longitudinal changes in BMI, AO, and lung density throughout adulthood using data from the Framingham Offspring Cohort (FOC).

Methods: BMI trajectories were modelled throughout adulthood in 4587 FOC participants from Exam 2 (mean age = 44), through Exam 9 (mean age = 71), in AO participants and non-AO participants (AO n = 1036), determined by spirometry, using fractional polynomial growth curves. This process was repeated for low lung density (LLD) and non LLD participants (LLD n = 225) determined by Computed Tomography. Spirometry decline was compared separately between tertiles of BMI in those aged <40 years and associations between fat and lean mass (measured using Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, DEXA) and development of AO and LLD were also assessed. Additional analyses were performed with adjustment for smoking volume.

Results: The BMI trajectory from 30 years of age was visually lower in the AO group than both non-AO smokers (non- < AO-S) and non-AO non-smokers (non-AO-N). Similarly, BMI trajectories were visually lower in participants with LLD throughout adulthood compared to normal lung density smokers and non-smokers. Differences remained after adjustment for smoking volume. The lowest BMI tertile in ages <40 years was associated with the steepest subsequent decline in FEV1/FVC ratio in both sexes.

Conclusion: Mean BMI is lower throughout adulthood in AO and LLD participants. Lower BMI is associated with a steeper decline in the ratio of FEV1/FVC. These findings suggest body mass may precede and potentially have a role in the development of COPD lung pathophysiology.


National Centre for Exercise Medicine and the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University

NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre



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