Skip to main content

Effects of obesity on respiratory mechanics at rest and during exercise

Abstract

Obesity is a major health problem worldwide. The prevalence of obesity is increasing and its association with multiple comorbidities is now firmly established. It is considered as an independent risk factor for reduced survival. Obesity directly affects respiratory mechanics at rest and during exercise. Obese individuals usually show changes in certain lung volumes, respiratory compliance and ventilatory behaviour. Dyspnoea is the limiting symptom usually experienced by these individuals.

References

  1. Jones RL, Nzekwu MM. The effects of body mass index on lung volumes. Chest 2006; 130:827–833.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Berrington de Gonzalez A, Hartge P, Cerhan JR, Flint AJ, Hannan L, MacInnis RJ, et al. Body-mass index and mortality among 1.46 million white adults. N Engl J Med 2010; 363:2211–2219.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Després JP, Lemieux I, Prud’homme D. Treatment of obesity: need to focus on high risk abdominally obese patients. BMJ 2001; 322:716–720.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Sharp JT, Henry JP, Sweany SK, Meadows WR, Pietras RJ. The total work of breathing in normal and obese men. J Clin Invest 1964; 43:728–739.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Pelosi P, Croci M, Ravagnan I, Vicardi P, Gattinoni L. Total respiratory system, lung, and chest wall mechanics in sedated-paralyzed postoperative morbidly obese patients. Chest 1996; 109:144–151.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Alexander JK, Dennis EW, Smith WG, Amad KH, Duncan WC, Austin RC. Blood volume, cardiac output, and distribution of systemic blood flow in extreme obesity. Cardiovasc Res Cent Bull 1962; 1:39–44.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Milic-Emili J, Torchio R, D’Angelo E. Closing volume: a reappraisal (1967–2007). Eur J Appl Physiol 2007; 99:567–583.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Rubinstein I, Zamel N, DuBarry L, Hoffstein V. Airflow limitation in morbidly obese, nonsmoking men. Ann Intern Med 1990; 112:828–832.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Magnani KL, Cataneo AJ. Respiratory muscle strength in obese individuals and influence of upper-body fat distribution. Sao Paulo Med J 2007; 125:215–219.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Rochester D. Obesity and pulmonary function. In: MAJ Alpert, editor. The heart and lung in obesity. NY, USA: Futura Publishing Company, Armonk; 1998. 108–132.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Babb TG, Ranasinghe KG, Comeau LA, Semon TL, Schwartz B. Dyspnea on exertion in obese women: association with an increased oxygen cost of breathing. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008; 178:116–123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Watson RA, Pride NB, Thomas EL, Fitzpatrick J, Durighel G, McCarthy J, et al. Reduction of total lung capacity in obese men: comparison of total intrathoracic and gas volumes. J Appl Physiol (1985) 2010; 108: 1605–1612.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Jensen D, Ofir D, O’Donnell DE. Effects of pregnancy, obesity and aging on the intensity of perceived breathlessness during exercise in healthy humans. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 2009; 167:87–100.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Guenette JA, Jensen D, O’Donnell DE. Respiratory function and the obesity paradox. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2010; 13:618–624.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Sood A. Altered resting and exercise respiratory physiology in obesity. Clin Chest Med 2009; 30:445–454.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Steier J, Jolley CJ, Seymour J, Roughton M, Polkey MI, Moxham J. Neural respiratory drive in obesity. Thorax 2009; 64:719–725.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Sin DD, Jones RL, Paul Man SF. Obesity is a risk factor for dyspnea but not for airflow obstruction. Arch Intern Med 2002; 162:1477–1481.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Ofir D, Laveneziana P, Webb KA, O’Donnell DE. Ventilatory and perceptual responses to cycle exercise in obese women. J Appl Physiol (1985) 2007; 102:2217–2226.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Lafortuna CL, Agosti F, Galli R, Busti C, Lazzer S, Sartorio A. The energetic and cardiovascular response to treadmill walking and cycle ergometer exercise in obese women. Eur J Appl Physiol 2008; 103:707–717.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. O’Donnell DE, Hong HH, Webb KA. Respiratory sensation during chest wall restriction and dead space loading in exercising men. J Appl Physiol (1985) 2000; 88:1859–1869.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Romagnoli I, Laveneziana P, Clini EM, Palange P, Valli G, de Blasio F, et al. Role of hyperinflation vs. deflation on dyspnoea in severely to extremely obese subjects. Acta Physiol (Oxf) 2008; 193:393–402.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Amr Shoukri MD.

Additional information

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

Rights and permissions

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Shoukri, A. Effects of obesity on respiratory mechanics at rest and during exercise. Egypt J Bronchol 9, 224–226 (2015). https://doi.org/10.4103/1687-8426.165884

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/1687-8426.165884

Keywords

  • dyspnoea
  • obesity
  • pulmonary functions