Abstract
COMPARISON OF PEAK EXPIRATORY FLOW RATES OF HEALTHY SUBJECTS WITH DIFFERENT BASAL METABOLIC INDEX

Chibuike Obiandu*, Bright I. Owhorji, Oiselene Otumu and Chibuike S. Amechi

ABSTRACT

The peak expiratory flow rate is the maximum rate at which the air can be expired after a deep inspiration. It is used to assess respiratory diseases. The peak expiratory flow rate of subjects classified based on their basal metabolic index (BMI) was measured in a semi urban community in Rivers State, Nigeria. This cross-sectional descriptive study was aimed at comparing the peak expiratory flow rate of apparently healthy male and female subjects with different basal metabolic index categorized into normal, overweight and obesed. These subjects were resident in the same community. A total of 168 subjects aged between 18 and 50 years were recruited for the study. Clinical history and clinical examination methods were employed before data collection. Informed consent was obtained. Exclusion criteria in the study included non willingness to participate in the study, any history or previous recent history of any respiratory illnesses or chronic cough, among others. The age and sex of participants were recorded. The subjects’ height was taken with the aid of a stadiometer and the weight was measured using a standard weighing scale. The peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) (L/min) was measured with the Wright’s flow meter. The basal metabolic index was calculated using the formula: (weight (kg) / height (m2). The statistical package for social sciences (SPSS version 21.0) was used for the analysis. The significant differences between and among group means was tested using analysis of variance (ANOVA), and multiple group means were compared using the post hoc test. To determine the link between variables, Pearson correlation analysis was used. The results obtained showed that, In females, there was no significant difference between the mean PEFR of overweight and obesed subjects compared to PEFR of subjects with normal BMI. In males, there was no significant difference between the PEFR of overweight subjects (416.39±21.29) and PEFR of subjects with normal BMI (453.75±20.61), but there was a significant decrease in PEFR of obesed subjects (362.78±18.47) compared to PEFR of subjects with normal BMI. Although average PEFR in normal individuals is higher in males than in females, the reason for the significant decrease in PEFR occurring in obesed males only was not ascertained. In conclusion, obesity in males was found to be associated with significantly reduced PEFR. Therefore, obesity may act as an effective risk factor that increase susceptibility to a decline in respiratory function.

Keywords: PEFR, obesed, overweight, obesity BMI.


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