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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1991 Jun;143(6):1224-30.

Increased susceptibility to lung dysfunction in female smokers.

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Centre for Agricultural Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.


The interaction between sex and smoking habits on pulmonary function was examined among 1,149 adults 25 to 59 yr of age in a rural community in Saskatchewan. Pulmonary function tests included FVC, FEV1, maximal midexpiratory flow rate (MMFR), the slope of phase III of the single-breath nitrogen test (delta N2/L), and closing volume as a percent of vital capacity (CV/VC). The data show that after fixing the effects of age, height, and weight by analysis of covariance, the adjusted means of delta N2/L in nonsmokers, ex-smokers, and current smokers were 0.92, 1.10, and 1.60% in women and 0.97, 1.05, and 1.23% in men, respectively. The difference in the adjusted means for delta N2/L between smokers and nonsmokers was larger in women than in men, 0.67% versus 0.26%, respectively. Multiple multivariate analyses show that the regression slopes for the residuals of FEV1, MMFR, and delta N2/L versus pack-years were significantly different between men and women. The regressions of FEV1 and MMFR decreased and the regression of delta N2/L increased with increasing pack-years more rapidly in women than in men. The combined effect of sex and pack-years on pulmonary function was not significant for ex-smokers. These data suggest that cigarette smoking may be more detrimental in its effects on lung function in women than in men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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