The relationship between weight and pulmonary outcomes in overweight and
obese people with cystic fibrosis
Introduction: A major focus in CF care aims to increase weight gain.
Rates of overweight and obese people with CF have gradually increased
over the past decade. Obesity could be a risk for restriction of lung
volumes and airway obstruction as well as increase rates of pulmonary
exacerbations in people with CF. Methods: Patients 6 years of age and
older were categorized into weight categories based on the CDC
definitions. A retrospective chart review was conducted to obtain lung
function testing and other outcomes. Results: 107 patients with a median
age of 20.6 years were included in this analysis. 8.4%, 64%, 18% and
10% of patients were underweight, normal/healthy weight, overweight and
obese respectively. FEV1 and FVC (% predicted) did not differ between
patients with weights in the normal range vs. patients in the
overweight/obese categories. Linear regression analysis showed a direct
correlation between BMI and FEV1 that continued as BMI entered
overweight and obese categories in both pediatric and adult patients.
Overweight/obese patients did not have increased rates of pulmonary
exacerbations compared to those in the normal/healthy weight category.
Conclusion: As CF therapies continue to improve, an increasing number of
people with CF are exceeding the CDC’s normal weight range. Gaining
weight past the normal range does not appear to negatively impact
pulmonary health of people with CF. If this trend of increased weight
gain continues, it remains to be seen if it will eventually negatively
affect lung health.