Obesity and diving.

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Title: Obesity and diving.
Author: Mouret, GML
Abstract: Obesity has long been accepted as one of the many risk factors for developing decompression sickness (DCS) when diving. Whilst body fat is a great heat insulator, there are a number of disadvantages to an obese person diving. These disadvantages range from the physical restriction of wetsuits, to concurrent medical pathologies and the higher demands on the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems whilst swimming. The high solubility of nitrogen in lipids and fats results in 5.4 times as much storage of nitrogen in fat as muscle tissue. This increases supersaturation of fat with nitrogen and significantly increases the risk of developing DCS. Whereas, historically, dive medicals precluded obese people from diving, a review of the literature would suggest that a sensible approach to diving and the medical examination can minimise risks of DCS to the obese patient.
Description: The Journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society (Incorporated in Victoria) A0020660B and the European Underwater and Baromedical Society
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/9584
Date: 2006

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