A Narrative Review of the Impacts of Obesity on Pulmonary Function and Muscle Strength

Ahad Fahad Alzahrani, Wessam Ezzat, Walid Kamal Abdelbasset

For citation: Alzahrani AF, Ezzat W, Abdelbasset WK. A Narrative Review of the Impacts of Obesity on Pulmonary Function and Muscle Strength. International Journal of Biomedicine. 2024;14(2):217-226. doi:10.21103/Article14(2)_RA2
Originally published June 5, 2024


Obesity has reached alarming proportions worldwide, requiring close attention and comprehensive knowledge about its health consequences. Obesity today affects people of all ages and socioeconomic levels. This narrative review is devoted to the multifaceted impacts of obesity on pulmonary function and muscle strength. Obesity, characterized by excessive fat accumulation, induces complex physiological changes, transforming adipose tissue into a metabolically dynamic organ. The multifarious nature of obesity causes complicated physiological alterations that affect the whole body. Besides its well-known impacts on metabolic health, obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, challenges the respiratory system mechanically. This review navigates through the mechanical challenges that obesity poses to pulmonary function, elucidating how excess adipose tissue in the abdominal region compromises lung expansion and increases the workload on respiratory muscles. Simultaneously, the review explores the dynamic interplay between obesity and muscle strength. Obesity and muscle strength are linked by metabolic dysfunction, muscle composition changes, and lifestyle variables. Clinical implications of obesity extend beyond metabolic consequences, emphasizing impaired pulmonary function and diminished muscle strength as crucial determinants of clinical outcomes. A multidisciplinary approach involving collaboration among healthcare professionals is advocated, addressing the physiological and psychological factors contributing to obesity.

adipose tissue • obesity • pulmonary function • muscle strength
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Received February 26, 2024.
Accepted April 8, 2024.
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