Background: Ethnic differences in lung function are recognized. However, most of the modern lung function equipments are pre-programmed with Caucasian reference values.
Objective: Measure spirometric values among healthy Saudi male and female adults and compare with the Caucasian reference values in a standard spirometer.
Methods: Thirty healthy Saudi young adults (15 males and 15 females; mean age 25 years) participated in this study. Forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), FEV1/FVC (%), and maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV) were recorded using a portable digital spirometer.
Results: Mean values of FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC (%) and MVV for the Saudi subjects were significantly lower than the Caucasians predicted values.
Conclusion: Interpretation of lung function tests of Saudi subjects based on the Caucasian prediction equations is generally not valid, as the parameters of lung function tests in Saudi subjects are lower than the Caucasian reference values. The present results underline an urgent need for larger studies to develop prediction equations based on normative spirometric values for Saudi population involving subjects of all ages and both genders living in different climates of the country.
1. Hayes D Jr, Kraman SS. The physiologic basis of spirometry. Respir Care. 2009; 54:1717-26.
2. Chavez PC, Shokar NK. Diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a primary care clinic. COPD. 2009; 6:446-51.
3. Guenette JA, Witt JD, McKenzie DC, Road JD, Sheel AW. Respiratory mechanics during exercise in endurance-trained men and women. J Physiol. 2007; 581:1309-22.
4. Enright PL, Beck KC, Sherrill DL. Repeatability of spirometry in 18,000 adult patients. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2004; 169:235-8.
5. Pierce R. Spirometry: an essential clinical measurement. Aust Fam Physician. 2005; 34:535-9.
6. Ostrowski S, Barud W. Factors influencing lung function: are the predicted values for spirometry reliable enough? J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006; 57 (Suppl 4):263-71.
7. Olanrewaju DM. Spirometric standards for healthy Nigerian children and adolescents. East Afr Med J. 1991; 68:812-19.
8. Zheng J, Zhong N. Normative values of pulmonary function testing in Chinese adults. Chin Med J. 2002; 115:50-54
9. Dikshit MB, Raje S, Agrawal MJ. Lung functions with spirometry: an Indian perspective II: on the vital capacity of Indians. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2005; 49:257-70.
10. Haddock D, Al-Hadramy M, Manchanda SB. Normal spirometric values investigated in King Abul Aziz Teaching Hospital, Jeddah. Saudi Med J. 1982; 3: 159-70.
11. Havryk, AP, Gilberta M, Burgessa KR. Spirometry values in Himalayan high altitude residents (Sherpas). Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2002; 132:223-32.
12. Meysman, M, Keymeulen, B, Eeckhout, E, Noppen, M and Vincken, W. Spirometric changes at high altitude: the Shisapangma experience. Chest. 2005; 128:215S.
13. Hancox R, Baxter J. Lung function normal for New- Zealand, J New-Zealand Medical Assoc. 2006; 119: U2286.
14. Abdullah A, Abedin M, Nouh M, Al-Nozha M. Ventilatory function in normal Saudi Arabian adults: observations and comparisons with some western and eastern reference values. Trop Geogr Med. 1986; 38: 58-62.
15. Miller M, Navajas D, Pedersen O, Wanger J. Interpretative strategies for lung function tests. Eur Respir J. 2005; 26:948-68.
16. American Thoracic Society. Standardization of spirometry, 1994 update. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1995; 152:1107-36.
17. Al-Moamary MS, Al-Hajjaj MS, Idrees MM, Zeitouni MO, Alanezi MO, Al-Jahdal HH, Al Dabbagh M. The Saudi initiative for asthma. Ann Thorac Med. 2009; 4: 216-33.