Abdominal obesity in COPD is associated with specific metabolic and functional phenotypes.
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BACKGROUND: Abdominal obesity (AO) is linked to reduced health status and mortality. While it is known that AO is prevalent in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AO-COPD), the specific metabolic and functional consequences associated with AO-COPD remain understudied. METHODS: We studied 199 older adults with COPD and 168 control subjects with and without AO and assessed visceral adipose tissue (VAT) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. VAT>70th percentile of the control group qualified a subject as AO in a sex specific manner. We measured plasma concentrations and whole body production (WBP) rates of multiple amino acids to assess the metabolic profile. We assessed medical history, body composition by Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, muscle strength, and cognitive function. We performed statistics by analysis of covariance (p) and FDR (q) for multiple comparisons. RESULTS: AO-COPD subjects had 27% more VAT (q<0.01) than AO-Control subjects despite correction for BMI. Branched-chain amino acid concentrations and WBP rates were generally elevated in AO-COPD but whole body clearance rate was only elevated in COPD. Metabolic syndrome comorbidities (p<0.01) and systemic inflammation (P<0.05) were most prevalent in the AO-COPD group. Muscle strength was reduced in COPD subjects (p<0.001), but partially preserved when combined with AO. Cognitive dysfunction and mood disturbances were present in COPD subjects (p<0.001) with worst performers in AO-COPD (q<0.05). CONCLUSION: The presence of AO is associated with specific metabolic and functional phenotypes in COPD. Clinical trial registry Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov. In the present paper, we report an analysis of the baseline measurements of COPD subjects and healthy controls from the study numbers: NCT01787682, NCT01787682, NCT02157844, NCT02082418, NCT02065141, NCT02770092, NCT02908425, NCT03159390, NCT02780219, NCT03327181, NCT03796455, NCT04928872, NCT04461236, NCT01173354, NCT01154400.