Obesity and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: recent knowledge and future directions

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Purpose of review

Obesity has been shown to have a significant impact on lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The purpose of this review is to discuss the most recent findings regarding the association between obesity, COPD, and COPD-related outcomes.

Recent findings

Evidence indicates that obese patients with COPD may compose a unique disease phenotype who are more susceptible than their lean counterparts to environmental exposures. The contribution of the visceral fat mass, irrespective of the total body fat mass, to the pathophysiology of COPD needs to be further explored in future studies.


Recent evidence supports a link between obesity and outcomes in COPD. Whether treatment of obesity also results in positive long-term effects in patients with COPD needs further investigation.

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