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Chest. 1999 Jan;115(1):49-59.

Respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function in an elderly nonsmoking population.

Author information

1
Center for Health Research, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, CA 92350, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine risk factors for chronic airway disease (CAD) in elderly nonsmokers, as determined by pulmonary function tests (PFTs), and to correlate reported respiratory symptoms with PFT measures.

DESIGN:

An observational survey.

SETTING:

Several communities in California.

MEASUREMENTS:

Exposures and respiratory history were assessed by standardized questionnaire. PFTs were performed and prediction equations derived.

RESULTS:

Significant risk factors for obstruction on PFTs in multiple logistic regression included reported environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure (relative risk [RR]=1.44), parental CAD or hay fever (RR=1.47), history of childhood respiratory illness (RR=2.15), increasing age, and male sex. The number of years of past smoking was of borderline significance (RR=1.29 for 10 years of smoking; p=0.06). The prevalence of obstruction on PFTs was 24.9% in those with definite symptomatic CAD, compared with 7.5% in those with no symptoms of CAD. The prevalence of obstruction was 36.0% among those with asthma and 70.6% among those with emphysema. Also, symptomatic CAD correlated with reduction in lung function by analysis of covariance. The mean percent predicted FEV1 adjusted for covariates was 90.6% in persons with definite symptoms of CAD, compared with 97.8% in those without it (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Age, sex, parental history, childhood respiratory illness, and reported ETS exposures were significant risk factors for obstruction on PFTs. Self-reported respiratory symptoms also correlated significantly with PFTs.

Comment in

PMID:
9925062
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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