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Love handles put the squeeze on lungs
Date:3/5/2009

posit several possible mechanisms by which excess abdominal fat may limit or decrease lung function.

"This association may result from the mechanical effects of truncal obesity and/or the metabolic effects of adipose tissue," wrote Dr. Leone. "Abdominal obesity may mechanically affect the diaphragm and chest wall compliance with decreased lung volumes."

Moreover, adipose tissue itself is known to be involved in a complex metabolic feedback cycle the mass of adipose tissue in one's body directly and positively correlates with pro-inflammatory markers and negatively correlates with anti-inflammatory markers.

"[A]dipose tissue may act as an additional source of systemic inflammation." wrote Dr. Leone.

The researchers also found a significant interaction between metabolic syndrome and smoking status, with estimated lung function impairment risk in current and former smokers being higher than in those who never smoked.

"Prospective studies are needed to determine the temporal relationship between lung function impairment and metabolic syndrome, including abdominal adiposity in particular. Mechanistic studies are also required to clarify the underlying physiopathological pathways," concluded Dr. Leone.

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.


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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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