Relationship between body mass and tolerance to physical stress in obese patients

Alberto Salvadori, Paolo Fanari, Roberto Cavestri, Paola Mazza, Silvia Baudo, Erminio Longhini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eleven obese patients, 5 males; age: 17-42; body mass index (BMI): 40; % of ideal weight: 187%, and 10 normal subjects (5 males; age: 19-39; BMI: 22; % of ideal weight: 103%), both groups without heart and respiratory disorders, underwent a cycloergometric test with subsequent 20-watt increases every 4 min until exhaustion. During the test, ventilation/minute, expiratory gas concentration and heart rate were measured, and the anaerobic threshold (AT) was determined in each subject. The obese patients showed a significantly lower AT than normal subjects (p <0.01); showing values which decreased with the increase in the grade of obesity expressed in BMI or in percent of their ideal weight. Moreover, in the obese patients, the O2 consumption (VO2) had significantly increased compared to that of normal subjects at no resistance and at all work levels. The negative correlation between the AT value and the BMI in obese patients can attribute their increase in VO2 during stress to (1) the inertial overloading caused by obesity especially considering the adipose tissue of their legs, or (2) to their level of ‘fitness’ being lower than that of normal subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-315
Number of pages5
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • Anaerobic threshold
  • Ergometric test
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology


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