Breath Holding Time Results for Sick People: Low Body Oxygen

Clouds in the evening Medical and physiological research articles about BHT (breath holding time test done after usual exhalation and only until initial discomfort) or CP (Control Pause or Buteyko Control Pause - see the link to the test below), or body oxygen level in people with chronic diseases.

On the graph below, the numbers of patients are provided in brackets. For example, "Hypertension (95)" means that 95 hypertension patients were studied. The body-oxygen level (breath holding time) for all groups of sick people was measured in seconds.

Control Pause (oxygenation indes or stress-free breath hoolding time) in sick people - 9 medical studies

Condition Number of
Body Oxygen or
Control Pause, s
Hypertension 95 12 s Ayman et al, 1939
Neurocirculatory asthenia 54 16 s Friedman, 1945
Anxiety states 62 20 s Mirsky et al, 1946
Class 1 heart patients 16 16 s Kohn & Cutcher, 1970
Class 2-3 heart patients 53 13 s Kohn & Cutcher, 1970
Pulmonary emphysema 3 8 s Kohn & Cutcher, 1970
Functional heart disease 13 5 s Kohn & Cutcher, 1970
Asymptomatic asthmatics 7 20 s Davidson et al, 1974
Asthmatics with symptoms 13 11 s Perez-Padilla et al, 1989
Panic attack 14 11 s Zandbergen et al, 1992
Anxiety disorders 14 16 s Zandbergen et al, 1992
Outpatients 25 17 s Gay et al, 1994
Inpatients 25 10 s Gay et al, 1994
COPD and congenital heart failure 7 8 s Gay et al, 1994
12 heavy smokers 12 8 s Gay et al, 1994
Panic disorder 23 16 s Asmudson & Stein, 1994
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome 30 20 s Taskar et al, 1995
Successful lung transplantation 9 23 s Flume et al, 1996
Successful heart transplantation 8 28 s Flume et al, 1996
Outpatients with COPD 87 8 s Marks et al, 1997
Asthma 55 14 s Nannini et al, 2007

Landscape with lake and forest Again as before, breath holding can be done in different conditions (e.g., after normal inhalation, or exhalation, or after taking a very deep inhalation, or after a complete exhalation, until first stress or as long as possible). However, in order to find body-oxygen levels in these sick people, it is logical to use normal conditions: usual exhalation (or at functional residual capacity = volume of air in the lungs at normal expiration) and stress-free version of the test (no pushing the patient for better numbers and no gasping after the test). If you are interested in these details, visit Body Oxygen Complete Table for Sick People and see how these different tests were standardized.

These Control Pause values or body-oxygen levels for sick people can be compared with Normal Breath Holding Time - Control Pause in Healthy People.

Doctors Doctor Buteyko and his MDs tested thousands of patients and found that the following relationships, in general, hold true in relation to body-oxygen levels:
1-10 s - severely sick, terminally and critically ill patients, usually hospitalized.
10-20 s - sick patients with numerous symptoms, complaints and, often, on daily medication.
20-40 s - people with poor health (no major symptoms), often without serious organic problems.
40-60 s - good or normal health.
Over 60 s - ideal health, when many chronic diseases are virtually impossible.

My own practical experience with hundreds of Buteyko students, who were previously sick or very sick, and other people completely agrees with these findings.

Conclusion: Sick people have low body-oxygen levels and shorter breath holding time results due to heavy breathing (see the Homepage for modern average breathing rates).

References for Table 5 (CP in Sick People)

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