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East Afr Med J. 1999 Jan;76(1):31-4.

Comparison of normal respiratory function values in young Kenyans with those of other Africans and Caucasians.

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  • 1Faculty of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya.



To compare the normal respiratory function values in young Kenyans with those reported for regional African neighbours and Caucasians.


Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC) and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were measured in a non-randomised sample of young indigenous Kenyans and the values were compared with those of age-matched regional African neighbours (Ethiopians and South Africans) and Caucasians (Australians).


Faculty of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret.


Eighty eight apparently healthy young Kenyan university students (64 males, 20-25 years and 24 females, 19-23 years) were examined.


The mean values (males versus females) were FEV1, 3.95 +/- 0.07 versus 2.97 +/- 0.08, FVC, 4.31 +/- 0.08 versus 3.19 +/- 0.09, and PEFR, 586.30 +/- 8.54 versus 438.30 +/- 8.55. The values for females were 25-26% less than those for males. The expiratory ratios (FEV1/FVC x 100) were 92.22 +/- 0.60% and 93.44 +/- 0.61% for males and females respectively, well within normal range. The FEV1, FVC and PEFR for both males and females correlated positively with heights.


These results were comparable to values reported for age-matched regional neighbours (Ethiopians and South Africans) but were lower than those reported for Australian caucasians. This highlights the need for the Kenyan population to have its own local reference values.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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