2 doctors weighed in:

Why do people have barrel chest? Heredity?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott McLean
Clinical Genetics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Sometimes

Genetics can certainly influence the shape of the thorax through the the way that genes control the growth of the ribs, vertebrae, and lungs.
Folks with either genetic or environmental reasons for big lungs, like alpha-1-antitrypsin deficience and emphysema from smoking, can have barrel shaped chests. Certain rare conditions that affect bone growth can also cause this.

In brief: Sometimes

Genetics can certainly influence the shape of the thorax through the the way that genes control the growth of the ribs, vertebrae, and lungs.
Folks with either genetic or environmental reasons for big lungs, like alpha-1-antitrypsin deficience and emphysema from smoking, can have barrel shaped chests. Certain rare conditions that affect bone growth can also cause this.
Dr. Scott McLean
Dr. Scott McLean
Thank
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