Obesity is found responsible for respiratory system disorders such as; obstructive sleep apnea and obesity related hyperventilation syndrome. In our study we investigated the effect of body fat distribution on respiratory function tests in obese female patients. 116 patients followed up at the Obesity Outpatients' Clinic of Istanbul Faculty of Medicine were included in our study. Their mean age was 36.14 ± 11.37 years. The criteria for obesity was BMI >= 27 kg/m 2. The control group consisted of 42 females with a mean age of 26.60 ± 6.72 years. Waist/hip ratio was used to define both peripheral (<0.80) and central obesity (>=0.80). Patients with BMI>40 kg/m 2 were defined as morbid obese. The demographic and spirometric parameters of the control group and obese patients, of mildly and morbidly obese as well as of peripherally and centrally obese patients were compared. Vital capacity, functional residual capacity and expiratory reserve volume (ERV) were significantly lower in the obese patients (p<0.05). 25% of forced vital capacity, peak expiratory flow and ERV were significantly lower in morbidly obese patients (p<0.05). ERV was significantly lower in the centrally obese patients (p=0.023). It is concluded that the amount and distribution of body fat contribute to alterations in respiratory function tests in obese females but, excluding central and morbid obesity, deterioration of respiratory function tests in obese female patients could point to an intrinsic pulmonary disease.
Keywords: Obesity, respiratory function, total body fat