Feb. 23, 2007 According to a new study, large waist-to-hip (W/H) ratios in the morbidly obese are associated with impaired pulmonary gas exchange.
Canadian researchers from McGill University gathered arterial blood samples from 25 morbidly obese patients who were scheduled for bariatric surgery. Age, body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, waist circumference, and W/H ratio were recorded. According to the study, large W/H ratios indicate substantial portions of fat mass surrounding the thorax, which could lead to ventilation abnormalities.
While there was no relationship between BMI and pulmonary gas exchange, researchers found both oxygenation problems, as well as minor ventilatory constraints, in the participants.
Also noted, was that all of the men had larger W/H ratios and were more likely to have a poorer gas exchange, compared with the women. Researchers concluded that a significant part of the blood-gas status in all participants was associated with their W/H ratio.
This study appears in the February issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.
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