A study of body mass index and nasal mucociliary clearance in healthy South Indian adult volunteers


  • Preetha Paul Department of Physiology, Tagore Medical College and Hospital, Rathinamangalam, Chennai
  • Mohamed Sajad Akbar CRRI, Tagore Medical College and Hospital, Rathinamangalam, Chennai
  • Balaji Arumugam Department of Community Medicine, Tagore Medical College and Hospital, Rathinamangalam, Chennai
  • Lalitha Subramanyam Department of Physiology, Tagore Medical College and Hospital, Rathinamangalam, Chennai




Body masss index, Nasal mucociliary clearance, Obese, Overweight


Background:Overweight and obesity are associated with a variety of diseases including respiratory disorders like asthma, COPD and breathing disorders which can reduce the quality of life. Nasal mucociliary clearance (NMC) is a defence mechanism of the upper airways whereby mucus secreted by the mucociliary apparatus traps inhaled particulate matter and transports it to the pharynx where it is swallowed. The nasal mucociliary epithelium is a mirror image of the bronchial mucosa and is affected by various factors. Little is known about the effect of Body Mass Index (BMI) on respiratory epithelium function. Aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of BMI on nasal mucociliary clearance.

Methods: NMC was measured in 60 healthy adult volunteers of age ranging from 20 - 35 years. The time taken to experience sweet taste at posterior nasopharynx following the placement of saccharin crystal in the nostril was recorded as NMC time. The height and weight of the subjects was recorded and BMI computed.

Results: Average NMC time (STTav) was 7.00 mins in the normal BMI category. However, we could not demonstrate much of a difference between this value and the mean in the overweight and obese categories, which were 7.16 and 5.81minutes respectively. Consistently, we observed faster clearance in the obese category compared to the normal and overweight, though the difference was not found to be statistically significant.

Conclusions: Our study did not demonstrate appreciable increase in NMC time among the overweight and obese compared to the normal BMI group.



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How to Cite

Paul, P., Akbar, M. S., Arumugam, B., & Subramanyam, L. (2017). A study of body mass index and nasal mucociliary clearance in healthy South Indian adult volunteers. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 4(7), 2902–2908. https://doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20161974



Original Research Articles