Although the influence of obesity on pulmonary functions tests (PFTs) has long been recognized, the nature of relationship and mechanisms in children are not yet clear.The purpose of this report was to examine the effect of overall obesity and fat distribution on pulmonary function tests in children.
A cross-sectional study of 50 (25 male & 25 female) overweight and obese children aged 7 to 15 years with no history of asthma or other atopic diseases was conducted and compared with 50 (25 male & 25 female) normal weight healthy children. Height, weight, waist/hip ratio, BMI and PFTs were measured. PFTs were assessed by measuring FEV1, FVC, PEFR, MVV and FEF25–75% with the help of a computerized spirometer (MEDSPIROR).
All these pulmonary functions were found to have statically significant negative correlation with waist hip ratio and BMI in overweight and obese subjects. Waist hip ratio had persistent negative correlation with lung function tests where as BMI was positively associated in lung function tests in normal weights. Overweight and obese children show 13% to 44% reduction in FVC and 20% to 46% reduction in FEV1 depending upon their degree of obesity.
BMI and waist hip ratio are the simple measures of obesity and fat distribution and most strongly associated with lung dysfunction in obese children.
Measurement of BMI and Waist Hip Ratio should be considered along other parameters such as age, weight, height during pulmonary function testing.
Gurpreet Singh, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information