COPD Links to Malnutrition and Economic Burden

December 19, 2014

A recent study around the global economic burden of malnutrition tied to chronic illness found that patients with COPD experience the highest rates of malnourishment. Although close to 60 percent of patients suffering from chronic illness are never screened for malnutrition, disease-associated malnutrition imposes an economic burden on society of about $157 billion per year, according to research published in a supplemental issue of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN).

Eight specific diseases were evaluated by direct medical costs, the years of quality life lost, and mortality. More than 80 percent of the total economic cost came from cases of depression, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary heart disease, and dementia. Patients with COPD had the highest malnutrition rate at 11 percent.

Malnutrition can be treated if the patient is screened and offered nutritional support when they are at risk. The COPD Foundation offers information regarding proper diet and nutrition in its Big Fat Reference Guide.

Please contact our C.O.P.D. Information Line at 1-866-316-2673 for further information and support.

Read the full Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN) report here.