Clinical impact of obesity on oscillometry lung mechanics in adults with asthma

Rory Chan (Lead / Corresponding author), Brian Lipworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Background: In the year 2035, projections have estimated that 5% of the Scottish population will be morbidly obese defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 40 kg/m 2. Airway oscillometry is an effort-independent test akin to bronchial sonar which measures resistance and compliance.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of obesity on lung mechanics using oscillometry.

Methods: Clinical data for 188 patients with respiratory physician–diagnosed moderate-to-severe asthma were retrospectively collected and analyzed.

Results: Obesity (BMI 30-39.9 kg/m 2) and morbid obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m 2) were associated with a significantly worse heterogeneity of peripheral resistance between 5 Hz and 20 Hz and peripheral compliance as low-frequency reactance at 5 Hz and area under the reactance curve, as compared with normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9 kg/m 2). Cluster analysis incorporating oscillometry identified a patient cohort who was older, obese, and female with combined impairment of spirometry and oscillometry coupled with more frequent severe exacerbations.

Conclusion: Obesity is associated with worse peripheral airway dysfunction in moderate-to-severe asthma, including a patient cluster who was older, obese, and female with more frequent exacerbations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-342.e3
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number3
Early online date18 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • obesity
  • body mass index
  • oscillometry
  • asthma
  • cluster analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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