This study searched for correlations between body composition (assessed by indirect methods) and respiratory muscle strength, endurance and exercise capacity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Thirty elderly subjects were divided into two groups of COPD patients, in clinically stable condition, and a control group, of subjects with no respiratory disease, selected so as to match COPD patients' age and biotype. All subjects were submitted to spirometry, maximal respiratory pressures for assessing respiratory muscle strength, respiratory muscle endurance test, the six minute walking test (TC6'), and to skin folds and body mass index (BIM) measurements. Subjects (6 women, 24 men) were divided into: group A, with moderate to severe COPD, n=11 (aged 69.5±10.5, BIM 24.00±3.66 kg/m²); group B with mild COPD, n=10 (aged 71.1±8.1, BIM 24.41±0.58 kg/m²); and control group C, n=9 (aged 70.1±5.9, BMC 27.44±1.33 kg/m²). Significant differences between the groups were found only in body fat percent and distance walked in the TC6'. Results showed no significant correlations between the analysed variables. Though literature consensually points to the nutritional status as a factor for respiratory impairment in COPD patients, no significant correlations could be found between body composition and the analysed respiratory parameters among this study subjects.
Body composition; Muscle strength; Pulmonary disease; chronic obstructive; Respiratory muscles