Background and objective
Whereas nutrition deficits are recognized as an expression of systemic inflammation in the elderly with diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), if they occur in symptomatic elderly smokers, unfulfilled COPD criteria are not confirmed.
Respiratory function, anthropometry assessment, and diet intake evaluation of 13 COPD patients (COPD group), ten symptomatic elderly smokers (SYSM group), and 27 healthy volunteers (control group) were compared. All were 70 years old or older.
The SYSM group had lower body weight, body mass index, percentage ideal body weight, body fat percentage, arm muscle circumference, tricep skin fold thickness, serum albumin, prealbumin, and transferrin than the control group and were similar to the COPD group (P < 0.05 each and nonsignificant each). Resting energy expenditure was no different among the groups. Intake of energy, vitamins (A, B1, B2, and C), calcium, iron, fiber, and sodium was also lower in the SYSM group than in the control group (P < 0.05 all) and was similar to the COPD group.
Elderly smokers who are symptomatic but who do not fulfill the COPD diagnostic criteria have nutritional deficits related to insufficient energy intake that are similar to those seen in COPD patients.