Impaired lung function is associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome in adults

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 Sep;14(9):1654-61. doi: 10.1038/oby.2006.190.


Objective: Impaired lung function is associated with obesity and insulin resistance. In this study, we investigated the relationship between metabolic syndrome and impaired lung function in adults.

Research methods and procedures: A total of 46,514 subjects 20 years and over (21,669 men and 24,845 women, mean age = 37.3 +/- 11.2 and 37.0 +/- 11.3 years, respectively) were recruited from four nationwide MJ Health Screening Centers in Taiwan from 1998 to 2000. Metabolic syndrome was defined using the National Cholesterol Education Panel (NCEP) metabolic syndrome criteria or America Heart Association/National Heart Lung Blood Institute (AHA/NHLBI) criteria. The relationship between metabolic syndrome and lung function test was examined using multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results: The prevalence of impaired lung function was 11.1% in men and 14.0% in women. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 5.8% using NCEP criteria and 12.8% using AHA/NHLBI criteria. In multivariate logistic regression analysis with adjustment for age, gender, BMI, smoking, alcohol drinking, and physical activity, restrictive lung impairment was independently associated with increased risk of having metabolic syndrome (p < 0.01, odds ratios = 1.221 using NCEP criteria and 1.150 using AHA/NHLBI criteria).

Discussion: Obesity and metabolic syndrome were associated with impaired lung function in adults in Taiwan. Our results imply that obesity and insulin resistance may be the common pathways underlying lung function impairment and metabolic syndrome. Moreover, lung function test may be applied as an additional evaluation for metabolic syndrome in a clinical setting.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Respiratory Function Tests*
  • Risk Factors
  • Taiwan / epidemiology