Weight Loss in Obese Women Improves Lung Function

Author: Susan Farley

According to study results reported in a recent issue of Chest, if obese women were to lose weight, they might experience improved lung functioning. The study's lead investigator, Dr. Shawn D. Aaron, said that losing weight would improve breathing "by unloading the respiratory muscles from the extra weight load around the chest muscles that the muscles were forced to work against."

The study included 58 women enrolled in a 6-month weight-loss program; 24 of the 58 women had asthma. The results showed that, if women lost more than 13% of their body weight, they might experience improvement in forced vital capacity, lung function, and total lung capacity, compared with women who were not able to lose a significant amount of weight. Dr. Aaron concluded, "In my clinical experience many obese women who lose a lot of weight are able to reduce or eliminate their need for asthma medications."