Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2006 , Vol 52 , Num 1

The Effects of Body Fat Distribution on Pulmonary Function and Respiratory Muscle Strength in Obese Individuals

Serap Tomruk 1 ,Faruk İbrahimoğlu 2 ,Nebahat Sezer 3 ,Belma Füsun Köseoğlu 4 ,Demet Tekin 5
1 Ankara Fizik Tedavi Rehabilitasyon Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, Ankara
2 Ankara Fizik Tedavi ve Rehabilitasyon Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi 4. Fizik Tedavi ve Rehabilitasyon Kliniği, Ankara
3 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Ankara, Turkey
4 Clinic of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
5 Ankara Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fizyoloji Anabilim Dalı, Ankara

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of body fat distribution on pulmonary function test (PFT) and respiratory muscle strength of obese individuals who did not have evidence of obstructive airway or parenchymal disease or other underlying disease affecting their respiratory system.


Materials and Methods: Seventy-six obese and 43 non-obese subjects who admitted to Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Education and Research Hospital outpatient clinic were recruited to our study. Body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, skinfolds thickness, pulmonary function test (PFT) and maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures (MIP, MEP) were measured in both groups. Grip strength was evaluated by Colin dynamometer.


Results: FEF25-75% value was lower in obese subjects than control group (p=0.026). No significant differences in other PFT parameters including FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC, FEF50%, PEF, VC were observed between the two groups. Furthermore, the restrictive ventilatory defect was found in 14.47% of obese subjects. Triceps skinfold thickness had significant negative correlation with PFT, MIP and MEP parameters. In addition, biceps skin fold thickness had significant negative correlation FVC, FEV1 and MIP values.


Conclusion: In this study, the distribution of body fat was found to affect PFT in obese subjects. Standard PFT parameters allow recognition of pulmonary dysfunction, the marker of which is a low maximal ventilatory volume in obese individuals. 

Keywords : Obesity, pulmonary function tests, respiratory muscles