Mortality and Exacerbation Risk by Body Mass Index in Patients with COPD in TIOSPIR and UPLIFT

Nirupama Putcha, Antonio R. Anzueto, Peter M.A. Calverley, Bartolome R. Celli, Donald P. Tashkin, Norbert Metzdorf, Achim Mueller, Robert A. Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Rationale: There is an association between body mass index (BMI) and mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with underweight individuals having higher mortality risk. Mortality and exacerbation risks among individuals with higher BMI are unclear. Objectives: To examine the relationship between BMI and adverse outcomes in COPD. Methods: This post hoc analysis included data from TIOSPIR (Tiotropium Safety and Performance in Respimat) (N = 17,116) and tiotropium-treated patients in UPLIFT (Understanding Potential Long-term Impacts on Function with Tiotropium) (N = 2,986). BMI classes (underweight [BMI, 20 kg/m2], normal weight [BMI 20 to ,25 kg/m2], overweight [BMI 25 to 30 kg/m2], obesity class I [BMI 30 to ,35 kg/m2], obesity class II [BMI 35 to ,40 kg/m2], and obesity class III [BMI > 40 kg/m2]) were examined for adjusted associations with mortality, exacerbation, and nonfatal cardiovascular event risk using over 50,000 patient-years of cumulative follow-up data. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox regression models. Results: In TIOSPIR, obesity prevalence was 22%, overweight 32%, and underweight 12%. The proportion of females was highest in obesity classes II and III. Overweight and obese participants had better baseline lung function versus other BMI classes; underweight participants were more likely to be current smokers. Underweight participants had a significantly higher risk of death (HR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.62-2.20; P, 0.0001) and severe exacerbations (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.16-1.47; P, 0.0001) versus normal-weight participants; however, overweight and obese participants were at lower to no additional risk. Results from UPLIFT were similar to TIOSPIR. Conclusions: These results suggest that there is a strong association between body weight, COPD events, and risk of death. A holistic management approach taking into account respiratory and cardiovascular risk factors and nutritional status is needed to improve the general well-being of patients with COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-213
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Body mass index
  • COPD
  • Exacerbation
  • Mortality
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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