Healthy Living

COPD: Can Obesity Make it Worse?

COPD: Can Obesity make it worse?

It is clear that obesity can lead to future health complications, now including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It has been established that there is a link between obesity and COPD, as obesity can further complicate the symptoms of COPD.

Obesity can be easily computed through BMI calculations that are available online. However, BMI can sometimes be misleading, as it does not measure the fat content in an individual's body. For example, two people can weigh the same amount, but the difference between the individuals is that one individual has stored fat, whereas the other individual's weight is because of muscle.  

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If an individual is overweight, his or her body requires more oxygen; therefore, the heart is required to work harder. This will be difficult especially if the individual has COPD, as there is a limited amount of oxygen throughout the body due to breathing complications.

However, if an individual is not obese and just overweight, he or she can still manifest the signs and symptoms associated with COPD. Anatomically speaking, the increased belly fat can lead to lung constriction. The contents of the abdominal area push the diaphragm, limiting the space of the lungs during inhalation. The difficulty heightens as he or she bends over or lies down, primarily due to gravity.

The World Health Organization recommends that females and males should not exceed a  waist circumference between 35 and 40. According to the study the organization conducted, 113,000 individuals who were between 50 years old and 70 years old were closely studied to discover the link between waist circumference and COPD.

A healthy physique can help make breathing easier, improve muscles in the chest that could lessen muscular fatigue while breathing, therefore, putting a stop to respiratory failure.