Love handles ‘impair lung function’
Here’s some bad news for people who carry excess weight around the middle: love handles can impair lung function. Says new studyhealth and fitness Updated: Mar 06, 2009 17:46 IST
Here’s some bad news for people who carry excess weight around the middle: love handles can impair lung function.
According to a report published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, a high weight circumference is strongly associated with decreased lung function.
To reach the conclusion, researchers analysed health information of more than 120,000 people from the Paris Investigations Preventives et Cliniques Center, and assessed demographic background, smoking history, alcohol consumption, as well as lung function, including FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second) and FVC (forced vital capacity, or the total expiratory volume) with respect to BMI, waist circumference and other measures of metabolic health.
"After adjustment for age, sex, BMI, smoking status, alcohol consumption, leisure time physical activity and cardiovascular history, metabolic syndrome remained independently associated with lung function impairment," wrote lead author Natalie Leone, M.D., of French National Institute for Health and Medical Research.
"We found a positive independent relationship between lung function impairment and metabolic syndrome due mainly to abdominal obesity,” the expert added.
Abdominal obesity was defined as having a waist circumference of greater than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.
"[This] study demonstrated that only mild abdominal adiposity, even with a normal body mass index (BMI), in associated with lower FVC," said Paul Enright, M.D., of the University of Arizona, in an accompanying editorial.
While more research will undoubtedly shed light on the underlying mechanisms linking abdominal fat to lowered lung function, there is an immediate clinical consideration: "I believe there is now enough evidence to recommend that waist circumference always be measured before spirometry tests.
“Abdominal obesity could then be highlighted on the printed report so that the physician interpreting the report could take the effect of obesity into account," wrote Dr. Enright.