Serum albumin concentrations in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Elisabetta Zinellu, Alessandro G. Fois, Elisabetta Sotgiu, Sabrina Mellino, Arduino A. Mangoni, Ciriaco Carru, Angelo Zinellu, Pietro Pirina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive condition characterized by chronic airway inflammation and lung parenchyma damage. Systemic inflammation and oxidative stress also play a role in the pathogenesis of COPD. Serum albumin is a negative acute-phase protein with antioxidant effects and an important marker of malnutrition. The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate differences in serum albumin concentrations between patients with stable COPD and non-COPD subjects. Methods: A systematic search was conducted, using the terms “albumin” and “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease” or “COPD”, in the electronic databases PubMed and Web of Science, from inception to May 2020. Results: Twenty-six studies were identified on a total of 2554 COPD patients and 2055 non-COPD controls. Pooled results showed that serum albumin concentrations were significantly lower in COPD patients (standard mean difference, SMD = −0.50, 95% CI −0.67 to −0.32; p < 0.001). No significant differences were observed in SMD of serum albumin concentrations between COPD patients with forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) < 50% and those with FEV1 > 50%. Conclusions: Our systematic review and meta-analysis showed that serum albumin concentrations are significantly lower in patients with stable COPD compared to non-COPD controls. This supports the presence of a deficit in systemic anti-inflammatory and antioxidant defense mechanisms in COPD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number269
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021


  • Albumin
  • COPD
  • Inflammation
  • Malnutrition
  • Oxidative stress


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