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‘Lung function bigger factor than obesity in metabolic health’
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2019.02.11 15:28
  • Updated 2019.02.11 17:50
  • comments 0

Researchers at St. Mary’s Hospital have discovered that adult lung function is more closely related to metabolic health than obesity, the hospital said Monday.

From left, Professors Kim Young-kyun and Lee Hye-yeon

In general, lung capacity decreases by about 26cc for men and 22cc for women annually, but people who smoke or have lung disease may see a further decline in lung functions.

“If the pulmonary function continuously deteriorates, the risk of lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or interstitial lung disease can increase,” the hospital said.

To prove the relationship between pulmonary function and metabolic health, the team, led by Professors Kim Young-kyun and Lee Hye-yeon at the hospital, divided 10,071 people, aged 19 to 85 years who visited the hospital’s center from January 2012 to December 2014, into four groups by their metabolic health and obesity.

Interests have been increasing in the relationship between metabolic health obesity (MHO) and illness, but the research is the first large-scale study that analyzed the correlation of pulmonary function with 10,000 adults in Korea, the hospital said.

MHO is a medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications.

Out of the total 10,071 subjects, 15.6 percent were MHO, while 16.3 percent of patients were metabolically unhealthy obese (MUHO). Also, metabolically unhealthy non-obese (MUHNO) patients accounted for 8.04 percent, while the metabolically healthy non-obese included the majority of the group with 60 percent.

The MUHO group showed that the sharpest lung function decrease, while the MUHNO group showed lower lung function than the MHO group.

The average forced vital capacity (FVC) of the MUHNO group was 90.7 percent and the forced expiratory volume per second (FEV1) was 97.2 percent, lower than that of the MHO group’s FVC of 92.1 percent and FEV1 of 98.6 percent.

“Healthy people without baseline lung disease, especially those with normal body mass, can have reduced lung function if they have metabolic syndrome,” Professor Lee said. “This can lead to the risk of developing airway or pulmonary diseases.”

Professor Kim said, “As decreased lung function can increase the risk of other complications such as cardiovascular disease, it is important to check for metabolic disease problem through regular health screening.”

The journal PLoS ONE has published the result of the study.


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