UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Body composition, muscle function, and physical performance in fibrotic interstitial lung disease: a prospective cohort study Guler, Sabina A.; Hur, Seo A.; Lear, Scott A.; Camp, Pat; Ryerson, Christopher J.


Background: Patients with fibrotic interstitial lung disease (ILD) are frequently physically inactive and many ILD subtypes are characterized by risk factors for myopathy; however, the importance of body composition, muscle strength, and physical performance in this population is largely unknown. Methods: Patients were prospectively recruited from a specialized ILD clinic, baseline characteristics were collected from the clinical record, pulmonary function tests were performed per established protocols, and dyspnea was measured using the University of California San Diego Shortness of Breath Questionnaire. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to assess body composition; handgrip strength to determine muscle strength, and 4-m gait speed to measure physical performance. Results: One hundred and fifteen patients with fibrotic ILD including 40 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis were recruited. The mean age was 69+/− 10 years in men (62% of the cohort), and 66+/− 9 years in women, with mild and moderate reduction in FVC and DLCO, respectively, for both sexes. ILD severity (measured by FVC %-predicted, DLCO %-predicted, or the Composite Physiologic Index in separate models) significantly predicted muscle mass and percent body fat including with adjustment for age, sex, and weight. ILD severity was associated with grip strength and gait speed independent from body composition. Conclusions: ILD severity has an important impact on body composition, particularly in men. Future studies are needed to confirm and further explore the possibility of additional pathways through which ILD directly impacts limb muscle function and physical performance.

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