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Correlation of gender and body mass index with pulmonary function tests in medical and paramedical students of Muzaffarnagar Medical College

Tanu Aggarwal, Deepankar Singh, Bhawana Sharma, Salman Shafi Siddique, Sudha Agarwal.


Background: Obesity is a newer chronic non-communicable disease, one of the today’s most neglected public health problems according to WHO. While the complication of obesity such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoarthritis are well established, but less emphasis is traditionally placed on the effects of obesity on the respiratory system.

Aims and Objective: To study the effect of gender and correlation of body mass index (BMI) with pulmonary function tests (PFTs).

Materials and Methods: This study was done on 115 first year Medical and Paramedical Students of Muzaffarnagar Medical College, Muzaffarnagar. Following the selection, the participants were divided into two groups based on BMI < 25 and BMI > 25. Anthropomeric parameters and spirometeric parameters were measured using a computerized spirometer. Statistical analysis was done by applying Student’s t-test. Linear association was established using Pearson’s correlation.

Results: On comparing the female participants with male participants, PFTs (forced vital capacity [FVC], forced expired volume in 1 second [FEV1], FEV1/FVC, peak expiratory flow rate) were found to be significantly lower in female than male. On observing, the correlation of pulmonary function parameter with BMI correlated positively with BMI < 25. PFTs were negatively correlated with increasing BMI in both male and female participants but the correlation is not statistically significant.

Conclusion: Our finding suggests that there is a significant impairment of lung functions in the overweight individuals.

Key words: Body Mass Index; Pulmonary Function Tests; Gender

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