Altered resting and exercise respiratory physiology in obesity

Clin Chest Med. 2009 Sep;30(3):445-54, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2009.05.003.


Obesity, particularly severe obesity, affects resting and exercise-related respiratory physiology. Severe obesity classically produces a restrictive ventilatory abnormality characterized by reduced expiratory reserve volume. Obstructive ventilatory abnormality may also be associated with abdominal obesity. Decreased peak work rates are usually seen among obese subjects in a setting of normal or decreased ventilatory reserve and normal cardiovascular response to exercise. Weight loss may reverse many adverse physiologic consequences of severe obesity on the respiratory system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Pulmonary Ventilation / physiology
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology*
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology
  • Rest / physiology*