American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2014, 2(1), 21-26
DOI: 10.12691/ajssm-2-1-4
Open AccessResearch Article

Peak Expiratory Flow Rate – A Consistent Marker of Respiratory Illness Associated with Childhood Obesity

Basuli Goswami1, Anindita Singha Roy1, Rishna Dalui1 and Amit Bandyopadhyay1,

1Department of Physiology, Sports and Exercise Physiology Lablratory, University of Calcutta, University College of Science and Technology, Kolkata, India

Pub. Date: February 12, 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Exercise in Prevention of Obesity in Children)

Cite this paper:
Basuli Goswami, Anindita Singha Roy, Rishna Dalui and Amit Bandyopadhyay. Peak Expiratory Flow Rate – A Consistent Marker of Respiratory Illness Associated with Childhood Obesity. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2014; 2(1):21-26. doi: 10.12691/ajssm-2-1-4


Childhood obesity is a prevalent global health problem that leads to onset of serious health problems. One of such major health problems is respitarory disorders induced by obesity especially in childhood. Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) is a convenient tool for quantitative and qualitative estimation of pulmonary function, which can easily be measured by peak flow meter. Present review has been focused to find out the applicability of PEFR as a marker of childhood obesity induced respiratory complications. Several studies revealed that obesity has strong association with PEFR that was significantly lower in individuals with obesity. Such association was attributed to the increased airway resistance and respiratory muscle dysfunction as a result of excess fat deposition. BMI, a good predictor of obesity also exhibited significant correlated with spirometric variables, e.g., FEV1, FVC, PEFR, etc. Waist to hip ratio has also been found to be an alternative of BMI for prediction of PEFR. Researchers hypothesised that fat accumulation over the chest wall reduces the PEFR mostly among all the pulmonary function indices and negative correlation was observed between pulmonary function parameters and visceral adiposity that in turn establishes that visceral fat deposition negatively affects the pulmonary activities and affects airway hyper responsiveness (AHR) in asthmatic and non-asthmatic children. Evidences further suggest that obesity causes asthma in children. It may further be hypothesized that PEFR is a good marker to diagnose the pulmonary disorders originated as a result of obesity that in turn may be evaluated from BMI or waist to hip ratio.

Obesity PEFR child BMI

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