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Ann Rehabil Med. 2017 Apr;41(2):299-305. doi: 10.5535/arm.2017.41.2.299. Epub 2017 Apr 27.

Maximal Inspiratory Pressure and Maximal Expiratory Pressure in Healthy Korean Children.

Author information

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Pusan National University Hospital, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Biomedical Research Institute, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea.
Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, Korea.
Department of Pediatrics, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Department of Statistics, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea.



To evaluate respiratory muscle strength in healthy Korean children in order to establish the criteria for normal reference values for future applications. In contrast with the other parameters for testing pulmonary function, normal values for respiratory muscle strength in healthy Korean children have not been assessed to date.


We conducted a complete survey of 263 students at Sinmyung Elementary School in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do, and measured their height and body weight, performed pulmonary function tests, and evaluated maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP) as measures of respiratory muscle strength. We excluded the subjects with respiratory or cardiovascular diseases that could affect the results. The subjects were children aged 8-12 years, and they consisted of 124 boys and 139 girls.


The MIP and MEP values (mean±standard deviation) for the entire subject group were 48.46±18.1 cmH2O and 47.95±16 cmH2O, respectively. Boys showed higher mean values for MIP and MEP in every age group. Korean children showed lower mean values for MIP and MEP compared to those in previous studies conducted in other countries (Brazil and USA).


Our results showed that boys generally have greater respiratory muscle strength than girls. We found a significant difference between the results of our study and those of previous studies from other countries. We speculate that this may be attributed to differences in ethnicity, nutrition, or daily activities.


Child; Korea; Pulmonary function tests; Reference values; Respiratory muscles

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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