Fibroblast growth factor 23 is associated with a frequent exacerbator phenotype in COPD: A cross-sectional pilot study

Swati Gulati, J. Michael Wells, Gisel P. Urdaneta, Kira Balestrini, Isabel Vital, Katherine Tovar, Jarrod W. Barnes, Surya P. Bhatt, Michael Campos, Stefanie Krick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory airway disease punctuated by exacerbations (AECOPD). Subjects with frequent AECOPD, defined by having at least two exacerbations per year, experience accelerated loss of lung function, deterioration in quality of life and increase in mortality. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)23, a hormone associated with systemic inflammation and altered metabolism is elevated in COPD. However, associations between FGF23 and AECOPD are unknown. In this cross-sectional study, individuals with COPD were enrolled between June 2016 and December 2016. Plasma samples were analyzed for intact FGF23 levels. Logistic regression analyses were used to measure associations between clinical variables, FGF23, and the frequent exacerbator phenotype. Our results showed that FGF23 levels were higher in frequent exacerbators as compared to patients without frequent exacerbations. FGF23 was also independently associated with frequent exacerbations (OR 1.02; 95%CI 1.004–1.04; p = 0.017), after adjusting for age, lung function, smoking, and oxygen use. In summary, FGF23 was associated with the frequent exacerbator phenotype and correlated with number of exacerbations recorded retrospectively and prospectively. Further studies are needed to explore the role of FGF 23 as a possible biomarker for AECOPD to better understand the pathobiology of COPD and to help develop therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2292
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • COPD
  • FGF23
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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