Racial Differences in Lung Function: Search for Proportional Relationships

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Abstract

A comparison of lung function in Caucasian and East Indian woodworkers revealed marked differences in FEV1, FVC, and MMF in relation to predicted age- and heightspecific values of these variables reported in the literature. These findings were not attributable to differences in smoking habits, frequency of respiratory disease, or employment characteristics. Rather, they suggested that the standard values employed were inappropriate for East Indians. An attempt was made to confirm previously reported suggestions of consistent proportional differences in lung function between racial groups which would permit the calculation of a single correction factor. Evidence of a consistent proportional relationship was found for FEV1 over a wide range of heights and for FVC over a limited range of heights. However, no such relationship was found for MMF.

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