Underweight and overweight men have greater exercise-induced dyspnoea than normal weight men.
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INTRODUCTION: Persons with high or low body mass index (BMI), involved in clinical or mechanistic trials involving exercise testing, might estimate dyspnoea differently from persons with a normal BMI. AIMS: Our objective was to investigate the relationship between BMI and dyspnoea during exercise in normal subjects with varying BMI. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 37 subjects undertook progressive exercise testing. Subjects were divided into three groups: underweight (UW), normal weight (NW), and overweight (OW). Dyspnoea was estimated using the visual analogue scale (VAS). Spirometry, maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV), and respiratory muscle strength (RMS) were measured. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The intercept of the VAS/ventilation relationship was significantly higher in NW subjects compared to UW (P = 0.029) and OW subjects (P = 0.040). Relative to the OW group, FVC (P = 0.020), FEV(1) (P = 0.024), MVV (P = 0.019), and RMS (P = 0.003) were significantly decreased in the UW group. The greater levels of dyspnoea in UW subjects could possibly be due to decreased RMS. Healthy persons should aim to achieve an optimum BMI range to have the lowest exercise-induced dyspnoea.
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