This article looks at the current nutritional guidelines around Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) risk of malnutrition and use of oral nutritional supplements (ONS). It considers the increased nutritional risk of COPD patients during the pandemic from a social economic perspective.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a name that encompasses a number of chronic lung conditions such as emphysema and bronchitis1. The British Lung Foundation (BLF) estimates that 1.2 million people in the UK, about 2% of the population, have a diagnosis of COPD, making it the second most common lung disease after asthma. Most people diagnosed with COPD are over 40 years old, the incidence increases with age with the less well-off more likely to suffer COPD.1
It is recognised that eating a nutritious diet and maintaining a normal body weight can be a challenge for COPD patients.
Low body weight is common in people with COPD and can lead to reduced heart and lung function, reduced ability to exercise and reduce quality of life.2 Physical symptoms such as breathlessness and tiredness can lead to reduced appetite or the ability to eat, as can depression and isolation.3