Gas exchange and breathing pattern in women with postmenopausal bone fragility

F. Polverino, J. P. de Torres, C. Santoriello, A. Capuozzo, I. Mauro, Joselyn Rojas-Quintero, B. D'Agostino, M. Pistolesi, B. Celli, M. Polverino, C. A. Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Little is known about the relationship between bone fragility and respiratory function. We hypothesized that women with osteoporosis or osteopenia, without cardio-pulmonary disease, have perturbations in the pattern of breathing and gas exchange. Methods: In 44 women with bone fragility (BF, T score: < −1), and 20 anthropomorphically-matched control women (T score > −1) we compared pulmonary function tests, central respiratory drive (mouth occlusion pressure or P 0.1), pattern of breathing using optoelectronic plethysmograph and arterial blood gases at rest. Results: Static pulmonary function was similar in BF subjects and controls. However, the arterial blood gas measurements differed significantly. The arterial pH was significantly higher in BF subjects than in controls (P < 0.001). The partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) and oxygen (PaO2) in arterial blood were significantly lower in BF subjects than controls (P < 0.001 and P = 0.009, respectively). The BF subjects had a shorter inspiratory fraction compared with controls (P = 0.036). Moreover, T-scores were significantly inversely correlated with the alveolar–arterial gradient of oxygen (r = −0.5; P = 0.0003) and the arterial pH (r = −0.4; P = 0.002), and positively correlated with arterial PaO2 (r = 0.3; P = 0.01) and PaCO2 (r = 0.4; P = 0.002) among all subjects. Conclusion: In the absence of known cardio-pulmonary disease, BF is associated with statistically significant perturbations in gas exchange and alterations in the pattern of breathing including shortening of the inspiratory time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalRespiratory Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone
  • Breathing pattern
  • Comorbidities
  • Lung function
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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