Research Article

Smoking, lung function, and body weight.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 22 January 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:249
  1. B Nemery,
  2. N E Moavero,
  3. L Brasseur,
  4. D C Stănescu


    In a cross-sectional study of steelworkers aged 45-55 years, smokers (n = 105; mean weight 76.1 kg) were found to weigh significantly less than non-smokers (n = 54; 81.6 kg) and ex-smokers (n = 51; 82.6 kg). The lower weight of smokers was attributable to a group with airflow obstruction (n = 37; forced expiratory volume in one second/vital capacity (FEV1/VC) less than 66%), who weighed less (4.8 kg; p less than 0.05) than smokers with normal FEV1/VC (n = 68). In smokers, but not in ex-smokers or non-smokers, body mass index and FEV1/VC ratio were closely related (r = 0.34; p less than 0.001). This association was apparently not due to an effect of body weight on lung function. Weight loss in smokers may be the consequence of impaired lung function or reflect the effect of cigarette smoking on both the respiratory tract and metabolism in susceptible subjects.