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Are Obese people at higher risks for lung injury?

obese individual
obese individual
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Obese people with a body mass index superior or equal to 30 are at higher risks of respiratory disorders. With 1/3 of the adult U.S population now overweight, the fight against lung injury is far of being a success.

  • Obesity is an important factor in the development of acute lung injury and severe inflammatory conditions, independent of smoking habit or second hand smoke. It is still unrecognized by the medical establishment

Overweight individuals have mechanical and physiological changes in their lungs.

They have severe limitations on capability of breathing. Adipose tissue around the rib cage and abdominal in the visceral cavity loads have a tremendous effect on chest movements, airway size, respiratory muscle function and lung perfusion. It reduces functional capacity and abnormal ventilation. They have more production of carbon dioxide and oxygen consumption.

Many health related consequences result from persistent inflammation due to further changes in adipose tissues cellular composition. Obese people suffer from hypoventilation, obstructive sleep apnea, and lung injury. Breathlessness is frequent and the airway dysfunction increases severe asthma attack. Furthermore the immune system is altered inciting pneumonia infections, pulmonary thromboembolism and respiratory failure. Hormones such as adinopectin and leptin increase tumor and cancer, increasing morbidity and mortality risks.

Weight loss is the only therapy that can be effective.

  • It can reverse many of the alterations of pulmonary function produced by deposition of fat'cells.


Information’s were retrieved from:

  • The journal of pulmonary pharmacology and therapeutics. 2012-2013
  • American journal of the medical sciences. 2001
  • University of Alberta Edmonton. Best practice and research clinical endocrinology and metabolism. 2013
  • Journal of applied physiology. 2010
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