• Nutrition

Condition Driven: Pulmonary Disease

Abbott Nutrition knows that recovery from illness and improving the strength of your patients are important. People with pulmonary disease, such as COPD, are at an increased risk for disease-related malnutrition and loss of lean body mass.1

The Need for Proper Nutrition for People with Pulmonary Disease

Approximately 12.1 million adults in the United States were estimated to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2011. COPD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. Tobacco smoking is the primary risk factor for the development of COPD.2

Disease related malnutrition is prevalent among people with COPD, with up to 60% of hospitalized patients with COPD3 and nearly 23% of COPD outpatients suffer from disease related malnutrition, which can speed loss of lean body mass. 4 Research has shown that as severity of COPD increases, nutritional status declines.5,6

Malnutrition adversely affects lung structure and function, respiratory muscle mass and function in people with COPD and is associated with negative patient outcomes.1,3,7 Between 25% and 40% of people with COPD experience involuntary weight loss: 25% of people with moderate to severe COPD and 35% of people with extremely severe disease show a loss of muscle mass.1,8,9

Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Your Patients with Pulmonary Disease

Nutrition intervention has been shown to improve quality of life, increase body weight and muscle strength, reduce the risk of hospitalization and shorten length of stay, maintain, and improve muscle strength and decrease the risk of infections and complications.1,10,11 A systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 published studies showed that nutritional interventions that included oral nutritional supplements improved overall nutrient intake, body weight, and handgrip strength in people with COPD. 10 Two additional systematic reviews and meta-analyses that included studies of oral nutritional supplements demonstrated that nutritional support improves outcomes in people with COPD. 11,12


  1. Itoh M, Tsuji T, Nemoto K, Nakamura H, Aoshiba K. Nutrients. Apr 2013;5(4):1316-35.
  2. GOLD. Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of COPD. 2014 http://www.goldcopd.com/uploads/users/files/GOLD_Report_2014_Oct30.pdf
  3. Stratton RJ, Green CJ, Elia M. Disease-related malnutrition: an evidence based approach to treatment. Oxford, United Kingdom: CABI Publishing (CABI International), 2003.
  4. Cochrane WJ, et al. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2004;17:3-11.
  5. Battaglia S, Spatafora M, Paglino G, et al. Eur Respir J. 2011;37:1340-5.
  6. Hsu M-F, Ho S-C, Kuo H-P, et al. COPD. 2014;11:325-32.
  7. Engelen MPKJ, Schols AMWJ, Baken WC, et al. Eur Respir J. 1994;7:1793-7.
  8. Schols AM, Soeters PB, Dingemans AM, et al. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1993;147:1151–56.
  9. Vermeeren MA, Creutzberg EC, Schols AM, et al. Respir Med. 2006;100:1349–55
  10. Collins PF, Stratton RJ, Elia M. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;95:1385-95.
  11. Ferreira IM, Brooks D, White J, Goldstein R. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD000998. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000998.pub3.
  12. Collins PF, Elia M, Stratton RJ. Respirol J. 2013;18:616-29.
  13. Alish CJ, et al. Diabetes Tech & Ther. 2010;12:419-425.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20470226