HealthDay News — For patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), fat-free mass index (FFMI) predicts survival, according to a study published online November 21 in Respirology.

Osamu Nishiyama, MD, PhD, from Kindai University in Osaka, Japan, and colleagues examined whether FFMI predicts survival in 44 patients with IPF. Direct segmental multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis was used to assess body composition. The authors examined the degree of correlation between variables of body composition and other variables with survival during a mean observation period of 837.5 ± 407.5 days. 

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The researchers identified positive correlations for FFMI with forced vital capacity (FVC), diffusion capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO), and six-minute walk distance; a negative correlation was seen for age. No significant correlation was seen for FFMI and percentage predicted FVC or DLCO, with a similar degree of correlation noted as seen with body mass index (BMI). In univariate analysis, several variables, but not BMI, correlated significantly with survival. In a multivariate model, FFMI and percentage predicted FVC were significant factors (hazard ratios, 0.64 and 0.96, respectively).

“We conclude that FFMI is a significant independent predictor of survival in patients with IPF,” the authors write.

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