Reference values for lung function testing in adults--results from the study of health in Pomerania" (SHIP)

Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2009 Nov;134(46):2327-32. Koch B, Schäper C, Ittermann T, Völzke H, Felix SB, Ewert R, Gläser S. Klinik für Innere Medizin B - Bereiche Kardiologie, Pneumologie, Infektiologie und Internistische Intensivmedizin, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität Greifswald.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The assessment of lung function with spirometry is a frequently performed diagnostic procedure and is considered an important tool in medical monitoring of pulmonary diseases. This study aimed at establishing current reference standards, derived from a representative population sample in West Pomerania of Germany and to compare them to existing data.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Standardized spirometric function tests were performed - 1sec forced respiratory volume (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) - on 1,809 participants (885 men, 924 women) of a cross-sectional epidemiological survey, called Study of Health in Pomerania ( SHIP).

RESULTS: All persons with cardiac disorders, current smokers and those who were on specific medication which could influence lung functions were excluded, leaving a total of 904 healthy subjects (439 men, 465 women, aged 25-85 years. The results were analysed by quantile regression.

CONCLUSION: The study provides a representative, gender specific set of predictive equations for lung function parameters by spirometry. Comparison to existing prediction equations revealed a consistent underestimation in the current population. The results help to interpret the results of lung function tests: it is therefore recommended that the existing prediction equations be revised.

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