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Respirology. 1997 Jun;2(2):143-9.

Population based standards for pulmonary function in non-smoking adults in Singapore.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, National University Hospital, Singapore.


Ethnic differences in lung function are well recognized, hence the use of normative data should therefore be based on reference equations that are derived specifically for different ethnic groups. We have collected data (n = 406) for population-based reference values of lung function from randomly selected samples of healthy non-smoking adults of both gender (aged 20-79 years) for each of the three major ethnic groups (Chinese, Malay and Indians) in Singapore. Lung function forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), FEV1/FVC, diffusion capacity (transfer factor) for carbon monoxide (DLCO), total lung capacity (TLC), residual volume (RV), RV/TLC and functional residual capacity (FRC) was measured using standardization procedures and acceptability criteria recommended by the American Thoracic Society. Lung function values were predicted from age, height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and transformed variables of these anthropometric measures, using multiple regression techniques. Ethnic differences were demonstrated, with Chinese having the largest lung volumes and flow rates, and Indians the smallest. These prediction equations provide improved and additional (TLC, RV, RV/TLC, FRC) population-based reference values for assessment of pulmonary health and disease in Singapore.

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