2017 Volume 242 Issue 3 Pages 215-221
Obesity is a major risk factor of cardiovascular, osteoarthritis, metabolic and pulmonary disorders, and exercise is an efficient method for treating obesity. However, obese patients often complain of dyspnea on exertion, which makes it difficult to continue exercise program. Obesity is also known to have an adverse effect on pulmonary function. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a comprehensive obesity rehabilitation (COR) program on pulmonary function in Japanese patients with morbid obesity. We enrolled 29 Japanese obese patients (14 males and 15 females) with BMI > 29 and an average age of 42.2 ± 11.7 years, who underwent the COR program for 1-3 months. Our COR program included a calorie-restricted diet, nutritional counseling, exercise training, and health education. We focused on the changes in pulmonary function, anticipating that changes in ventilation volume may contribute to improving exercise tolerance. After the intervention, all the subjects had lost weight, with a mean value of 12.0 kg (P < 0.001). We found that the lung volume compartment was significantly increased after our COR program, and that there is a strong positive correlation between a change in expiratory reserve volume and the weight loss (r = 0.74, P < 0.01). Through the COR program, body fat mass was significantly reduced, while the skeletal muscle mass remained more or less unchanged, which is advantageous for improvement in exercise tolerance. In conclusion, our COR program is helpful to improve the pulmonary function of patients with obesity.