Breath Holding Time Results for Sick People: Low Body Oxygen

- Updated on November 1, 2020

Proofread by Samson Hui Proofreader on July **, 2019


Breath Holding Time Results for Sick People: Low Body Oxygen

Breath Holding Time Results for Sick People: Low Body Oxygen

Medical and physiological research articles about BHT (breath holding time results 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.

In 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 In these studies, breath-holding tests were performed under different conditions. Some studies applied the test after a large or deep inhalation, others after a normal inhalation. There were studies that conducted BHT measurements until as long as possible, while some only until the initial stress. 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). For all these details, visit Complete BHT Table for Sick People.

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

Doctors Soviet MDs tested thousands of their patients and found the following relationships:
1-10 s – terminally and critically ill patients, severely sick, most likely hospitalized
10-20 s – sick patients who have numerous symptoms and, very possibly, on daily medical drugs
20-40 s – people who have poor health (but no major symptoms and often without serious diagnosed problems)
40-60 s – good or normal health.
Over 60 s – ideal or normal health: chronic health conditions cannot appear.

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).



  1. References for Table Normal Breath Holding results Time – Control Pause in Healthy People
  2. Buteyko Practical Elements (From
  3. Breathing Exercise 1: The Control Pause (From


Go back to Homepage