Is there any relationship between waist circumference and lung function?
A recent report suggests there is. If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, your doctor may ask you to use a treadmill or stationary bicycle to evaluate your shortness of breath and determine whether it’s caused by a lung problem, heart disease, or simply by being out of shape. Now a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Volume 85, page 35) suggests that your waist size is a good predictor of how impaired your lung function is. Previous studies showed that obesity — not normal weight or overweight — is associated with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). But findings from this study hold true regardless of weight. The researchers studied 1,674 adults, measuring their height, weight, and lung function. They found that the greater a person’s waist circumference, the worse his or her lung function was. Although doctors commonly use body mass index (BMI) — a measure of weight in relation to height — as a predictor of a person’s lung func