Tuberc Respir Dis.  2003 Feb;54(2):210-218. 10.4046/trd.2003.54.2.210.

The Effect of Body Mass Index, Fat Percentage, and Fat-free Mass Index on Pulmonary Function Test: With Particular Reference to Parameters Derived from Forced Expiratory Volume Curve

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Taegu, Korea.
  • 2Health Promotion Center, Yeungnam University Medical Center, Taegu, Korea.


BACKGROUND: Sex specific cross sectional reference values for the lung function indices usually employ a linear model with a term for age and height. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of the body mass index (BMI), the fat percentage of the body mass and the fat-free mass index (FFMI) on the forced expiratory volume curve. METHOD: Between January 2000 and December 2001, a total of 300 subjects, 150 men and 150 women (mean age : 45+/-13 years), with a normal lung function were enrolled in the study sample. This study measured the FEV1, FVC and FEF25-75% from the forced expiratory volume curve by a spirometer and the body composition by a bioelectrical impedance method in all subjects. Multiple regression analysis was used in order to examine the effects of the body composition on the parameters derived from the forced expiratory volume curve. RESULT: After adjusting for age, the BMI and Fat percentage improved the descriptions of the FVC (p<0.05, r2=0.491) and FEV1 (p<0.05, r2=0.654) in women. In contrast, the FFMI contributed significantly to the FVC (p<0.05, r2=0.432) and FEV1 (p<0.05, r2=0.567) in men. The FEF25-75% correlated with the fat percentage in women (p<0.05, r2=0.337).
These results suggest that the BMI, the fat percentage and the FFMI are significant determinants of the forced expiratory volume curve. The pulmonary function test, when considering the BMI, the fat percentage and the FFMI, might be useful in clinical applications.


Body mass index; Fat percentage; Fat-free mass index; FVC; FEV1; FEF25-75%

MeSH Terms

Body Composition
Body Mass Index*
Electric Impedance
Forced Expiratory Volume*
Linear Models
Reference Values
Respiratory Function Tests*
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