Lower lung volumes, airflow obstruction predict endothelial dysfunction in women
Airflow obstruction and lower lung volumes appear to increase the risk of endothelial dysfunction in middle-aged women, suggests a recent study. On the other hand, the evidence for such association in men is weaker.
The association between lung and endothelial function was modified by sex. Lower values of pre- and postbronchodilator spirometry, total lung capacity, and functional residual capacity (FRC) correlated with worse endothelial function among women (p<0.05). Similar associations were seen after adjusting for smoking, asthma diagnoses, fitness and body mass index.
These associations were weaker among men, with endothelial function correlating only with FRC, airway conductance and postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity ratios. Gas transfer did not correlate with endothelial function in either sex.
“These findings may partly explain the increased risk of cardiovascular disease among people with poor lung function but suggest that there are sex differences in this association,” the investigators said.
This study measured systemic endothelial function using peripheral arterial tonometry to calculate the Framingham reactive hyperaemia index, and evaluated lung function using spirometry, plethysmographic lung volumes, airway conductance and gas transfer.
Regression analyses were carried out to assess the associations between lung and endothelial function with and without adjustment for potential confounding factors.
“Chronic lung disease is associated with impaired endothelial function and this may be a risk factor for poor cardiovascular health,” the investigators said. “It is unknown if there is an association between lung and endothelial function in the general population.”