Respiratory failure is common in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who have low body mass index (BMI), according to a study published in the Journal of Nepal Health Research Council.

Researchers assessed 142 patients who attended the emergency/outpatient department from August 2018 to July 2020, of whom 81 patients had COPD with type II respiratory failure (controls). Among the control group, patients were categorized as having low (<18.5 kg/m2) or normal BMI (18.5-24.9 kg/m2).

The results showed a significant difference in BMI between the groups (P<0.001). The researchers noted that severity of respiratory failure was compared and affected outcomes based on lower BMI scores.

“Our study shows that overall respiratory failure was common in low BMI cases compared to control. Nevertheless, there was no difference among severity of respiratory failure among low and normal BMI subgroups and however it did affect the outcome,” the researchers concluded.

Keywords: Brain natriuretic peptide, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, non-invasive ventilation