Tuberc Respir Dis.  2012 May;72(5):433-440.

The Effect of Body Composition on Pulmonary Function

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Regional Center for Respiratory Disease, Yeungnam University Medical Center, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


The pulmonary function test is the most basic test method to diagnosis lung disease. The purpose of this study was to research the correlation of the body mass index (BMI), the fat percentage of the body mass (fat%), the muscle mass, the fat-free mass (FFM) and the fat-free mass index (FFMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR), on the forced expiratory volume curve.
Between March and April 2009, a total of 291 subjects were enrolled. There were 152 men and 139 female (mean age, 46.3+/-9.92 years), and they were measured for the following: forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume at 1 second (FEV1), and forced expiratory flow during the middle half of the FVC (FEF25-75) from the forced expiratory volume curve by the spirometry, and the body composition by the bioelectrical impedance method. Correlation and a multiple linear regression, between the body composition and pulmonary function, were used.
BMI and fat% had no correlation with FVC, FEV1 in male, but FFMI showed a positive correlation. In contrast, BMI and fat% had correlation with FVC, FEV1 in female, but FFMI showed no correlation. Both male and female, FVC and FEV1 had a negative correlation with WHR (male, FVC r=-0.327, FEV1 r=-0.36; p<0.05; female, FVC r=-0.175, FEV1 r=-0.213; p<0.05). In a multiple linear regression of considering the body composition of the total group, FVC explained FFM, BMI, and FFMI in order (r2=0.579, 0.657, 0.663). FEV1 was explained only fat% (r2=0.011), and FEF25-75 was explained muscle mass, FFMI, FFM (r2=0.126, 0.138, 0.148).
The BMI, fat%, muscle mass, FFM, FFMI, WHR have significant association with pulmonary function but r2 (adjusted coefficient of determination) were not high enough for explaining lung function.


Pulmonary Function Tests; Body Compostion; Factor Analysis, Statistical

MeSH Terms

Body Composition
Body Mass Index
Electric Impedance
Factor Analysis, Statistical
Forced Expiratory Volume
Linear Models
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Function Tests
Vital Capacity
Waist-Hip Ratio


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