We aimed to investigate the relationships between body composition and lung function in elderly people.
A population-based cohort study, the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging (KLoSHA), was performed on subjects aged over 65 years by random stratified sampling in 2005–2006 (439 men and 561 women). Anthropometrics, biochemical factors, lung function by spirometry, body composition by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and abdominal fat by computed tomography were measured.
Lung function and muscle mass decreased with aging but there was no significant change in fat mass with age. After adjustment for age, gender, smoking and exercise status, participants with lower muscle mass in whole body or trunk had poor lung function than those with higher muscle mass in the same areas (P < 0.01). Similarly, subjects with higher fat in whole body or trunk showed an increased risk for having poor lung function (P < 0.01). Interestingly, abdominal subcutaneous fat was negatively associated with poor lung function but visceral fat was not.
In this community-based study, body composition is a strong associating factor of lung function. The positive correlations of lung function with muscle mass and negative correlations with fat mass in whole body or trunk support the augmentation of muscle mass and reduction of fat in maintaining lung function in elderly population.
From the results obtained, augmentation of muscle mass and reduction of fat would be helpful to increase or maintain lung function in elderly population. Ultimately, it is likely that regular exercise or balanced nutrition will reduce the mortality and morbidity associated with deterioration of lung function.
Sung Youn Kwon, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information