Background: Malnutrition is a common extrapulmonary systemic effect of COPD. It has been shown that malnutrition is correlated with frequent hospital visits and an independent risk factor for mortality among COPD patients. This study aims to correlate COPD exacerbation with the nutritional status of the elderly patient aged ≥ 65 years old using the anthropometric measurements and MNA®-SF.
Method: A cross sectional study involving 131 elderly COPD patients who were newly or already diagnosed with COPD confirmed by Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT) at Philippine Heart Center pulmonary laboratory were studied. Nutritional status using Mini Nutritional Assessment short form (MNA®-SF), Body Mass Index, and Anthropometric measurements (Mid Arm Circumference, Calf Circumference) were measured. The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) COPD Combine Assessment Tool was used to evaluate rate of exacerbation. Nutritional Status was correlated with the risk of exacerbation using the Pearson's product-moment correlation, and was graphically presented using scatterplot. A p-value of < 0.050 was considered significant.
Results: One hundred thirty one COPD patients participated in the study. Patients who were categorized as at risk of malnutrition and malnourished based on MNA®-SF have ≥1 episodes of exacerbation per year (r= 0.7041, p=0.000). BMI and MAC showed significantly negative correlation with risk of exacerbation (r= -0.3873, p=0.000; r = -0.2555, p=0.0039).
Conclusion: There is a strong correlation between malnutrition and risk of COPD exacerbation using the MNA®-SF as a nutritional assessment tool.