January 12, 2015
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Body fat, lung function showed inverse relationship

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Increases in body fat were linked with decreases in lung function, while lung function improved with decreases in body fat, according to recent study data.

Researchers in Denmark sampled 2,308 participants living in 11 cities across Copenhagen and followed them for a 5-year period, monitoring changes in a participant’s weight, BMI, waist circumference and fat percentage. The outcome was to determine if increases or decreases in adiposity affected forced expiratory volume at 1 second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC).

“We found that an increase in adiposity over 5 years was associated with declines in FEV1 and FVC, whereas a decrease in adiposity was associated with increases of FEV1 and FVC,” the researchers wrote.

The effect of changes in the four adiposity measurements on changes in FEV1 and FVC were approximately three times higher in males than in females.

For every one standard deviation of weight change (5.4 kg) from the baseline to the 5-year follow-up, FEV1 either increased or decreased with approximately 72 mL in males and 26 mL in females. FVC increased or decreased with 111 mL in males and 35 mL in females.

“Changes of adiposity had a high, gender-specific impact on FEV1 and FVC, but not on the FEV1/FVC-ratio,” the researchers concluded. “The adiposity changes leading to declines of FEV1 and FVC were not concomitantly associated with incidence of asthma or wheezing.”

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.