Effect of obesity on lung volumes among adults

Gurmeet Kaur, Sandeep Kaur, Geetika Gupta, Rajneet Kaur


Background: Obesity has long been recognized to have significant effect on respiratory functions. Many studies have reported exponential decrease in pulmonary function test (PFT) with increasing body mass index (BMI), which is a crude indicator of obesity. Also, the relationship between BMI and PFTs varies with age, race, geographical region and the different obesity standards used. To the best of our knowledge, not many studies have been done to examine the relationship between obesity and lung volumes among adults in our region, Jammu. This cross-sectional study was carried out with the objective of evaluating the effect of obesity on lung function test in obese but otherwise healthy adults of Jammu region.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Jammu region on subjects selected randomly from different colleges in the age group of 18-40 years. The study involved 300 subjects; divided into three groups of 100 each, based on BMI into normal, overweight and obese groups. Four respiratory parameters viz. FVC (Forced Vital Capacity), FEV1 (Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second), FEV3 (Forced Expiratory Volume in 3 seconds), and MVV (Maximum Voluntary Ventilation) were used to assess their lung functions.

Results: All the respiratory parameters exhibited statistically significant decrease in obese groups as compared to normal and overweight groups.

Conclusions: The present study suggests that obesity alters the respiratory physiology by producing a restrictive ventilatory pattern.


Body Mass Index, Obesity, Pulmonary function tests, Restrictive ventilation

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