Korean J Pediatr.  2005 Jun;48(6):588-593.

Pulmonary Function Test and Body Composition Analysis in Obese Children

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea. hongym@chollian.net


Obesity is associated with disturbances of ventilatory functions in adults. But few studies have evaluated the pulmonary complications of obesity in the pediatric population. The purpose of this study is to clarify the effects of obesity on pulmonary function and body composition in obese children. METHODS: Forty seven obese children whose ages ranged from nine to twelve years were evaluated for their body composition (intracellular fluid, extracellular fluid, protein mass, mineral mass, soft lean mass, fat mass, percent body fat, fat distribution) by bioelectrical impedance analysis. Hemoglobin, serum glucose, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), total cholesterol and triglycerides were measured. Pulmonary function test was performed by spirometer. RESULTS: Intracellular fluid, protein mass, fat mass, percent body fat and fat distribution were significantly higher in severely obese children with an obesity index of more than 150 percent compared with those with an index of less than 150 percent. Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) was significantly lower in severely obese children with obesity index of more than 150 percent compared with those with less than 150 percent (241.7+/-14.6 L/sec vs 276.8+/-64.3 L/sec). PEFR, forced expiratory flow 25 percent (FEF25), mid expiratory flow rate (MEFR), forced expiratory flow 50 percent (FEF50), forced expiratory volume in 1st second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were decreased in 37.0 percent, 14.8 percent, 14.8 percent, 11.1 percent, 3.7 percent and 3.7 percent of obese children, respectively. CONCLUSION: PEFR was significantly decreased in obese children. Pulmonary function test must be performed in severely obese children and more extended study is needed in other age groups.


Obesity; Pulmonary function test; Body composition

MeSH Terms

Adipose Tissue
Alanine Transaminase
Aspartate Aminotransferases
Blood Glucose
Body Composition*
Electric Impedance
Extracellular Fluid
Forced Expiratory Volume
Intracellular Fluid
Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
Respiratory Function Tests*
Vital Capacity
Alanine Transaminase
Aspartate Aminotransferases
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