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Metabolic Syndrome Linked to Reduced Lung Function

Association in study cohort -- 15 percent of whom had syndrome -- largely due to abdominal obesity

MONDAY, Mar. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Metabolic syndrome is associated with a higher risk of lung function impairment, primarily due to abdominal obesity, according to research published in the Mar. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Nathalie Leone, M.D., of the Universite Denis Diderot in Paris, France, and colleagues analyzed data from 121,965 men and women, mean age 45.7, who underwent lung function tests, including FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second) and FVC (forced vital capacity). Subjects were also assessed for metabolic syndrome.

Fifteen percent of the group had metabolic syndrome, which was associated with lung function impairment even after adjustment for a wide range of factors (adjusted odds ratios, 1.28 for FEV1 and 1.41 for FVC), the researchers found. Impairment was particularly linked to abdominal obesity (adjusted odds ratios, 1.94 for FEV1 and 2.11 for FVC), the authors report.

"Abdominal obesity causes a reduced inspiratory capacity (thus reducing both FEV1 and FVC), by making descent of the diaphragm into the abdomen more difficult and is associated with increased thoracic fat, which reduces chest wall compliance. Abdominal obesity also reduces the expiratory reserve volume, further reducing the FVC and increasing residual volume," writes the author of an accompanying editorial. "I believe that 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."

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