The coexistence of overweight or obesity and COPD presents both diagnostic and management challenges; however, strategies are available for some patients with these comorbidities to safely lose weight, maintain lean muscle mass and improve exercise tolerance.
- The ‘obesity paradox’ in which mortality appears to be lower in obese patients with COPD than in their normal-weight counterparts is overemphasised in importance.
- The combination of obesity and COPD is associated with decreased exercise tolerance and increased dyspnoea and cardiovascular risk in affected patients.
- Obesity and COPD are two heterogeneous chronic conditions with increasing prevalence.
- There are safe ways for obese patients with COPD to lose weight, maintain lean muscle mass and improve fitness.
- Strategies to encourage healthy lifestyle changes and education on the importance of adequate protein intake can be implemented by GPs in some overweight and obese patients with COPD.