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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 131349, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Systemic Inflammation and Lung Function Impairment in Morbidly Obese Subjects with the Metabolic Syndrome

1Department of Pulmonology, Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, Kleiweg 500, 3045 PM Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2Department of Internal Medicine, Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, 3045 PM Rotterdam, The Netherlands
3Department of Statistics, Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, 3045 PM Rotterdam, The Netherlands
4Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
5Department of Clinical Chemistry, Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, 3045 PM Rotterdam, The Netherlands
6Department of Surgery, Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, 3045 PM Rotterdam, The Netherlands
7Department of Pulmonology, Leiden University Medical Center, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands

Received 7 October 2012; Revised 6 January 2013; Accepted 26 January 2013

Academic Editor: David Allison

Copyright © 2013 Astrid van Huisstede et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Obesity and asthma are associated. There is a relationship between lung function impairment and the metabolic syndrome. Whether this relationship also exists in the morbidly obese patients is still unknown. Hypothesis. Low-grade systemic inflammation associated with the metabolic syndrome causes inflammation in the lungs and, hence, lung function impairment. Methods. This is cross-sectional study of morbidly obese patients undergoing preoperative screening for bariatric surgery. Metabolic syndrome was assessed according to the revised NCEP-ATP III criteria. Results. A total of 452 patients were included. Patients with the metabolic syndrome ( ) had significantly higher blood monocyte (mean 5.3 versus 4.9, ) and eosinophil percentages (median 1.0 versus 0.8, ), while the total leukocyte count did not differ between the groups. The FEV1/FVC ratio was significantly lower in patients with the metabolic syndrome (76.7% versus 78.2%, ). Blood eosinophils were associated with FEV1/FVC ratio (adj. B −0.113, ). Conclusion. Although the difference in FEV1/FVC ratio between the groups is relatively small, in this cross-sectional study, and its clinical relevance may be limited, these data indicate that the presence of the metabolic syndrome may influence lung function impairment, through the induction of relative eosinophilia.