Static lung volumes: reference values from a Latin population of Spanish descent

Respiration. 1999;66(3):242-50. doi: 10.1159/000029385.


Background and objectives: The aim of this study was to develop a set of prediction equations and 90% confidence intervals for static lung volumes using the multibreath helium equilibration method from a sample of asymptomatic Caucasian subjects of Spanish descent. Moreover, these equations were compared with those of previous studies.

Methods: Measurements of static lung volumes using techniques recommended by the American Thoracic Society and the European Community for Steel and Coal were carried out on a selected sample of 591 healthy nonsmoking volunteers (305 men and 286 women) aged 18-88 years, living in the metropolitan area of Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. Multiple regression analysis using height, age and weight as independent variables were used to provide predicted values for both sexes. These reference values were compared with other sets of prediction equations reported in the literature using an independent sample of 69 subjects (32 men and 37 women).

Results: Simple linear regression equations using age, height and body weight predicted all the subdivisions of lung volumes (vital capacity, expiratory reserve volume (ERV), inspiratory capacity, functional residual capacity (FRC), residual volume (RV), total lung capacity (TLC), FRC/TLC and RV/TLC) as well as more complex equational models. The distribution of residuals fulfilled the assumptions of multiple regression analysis (independence, homoscedasticity and Gaussian distribution of residuals), except for ERV, using simple linear models. The derived equations did not differ significantly from most of the previously reported equations and were usually superior in their ability to predict the lung volumes.

Conclusions: The use of the present prediction equations is recommended in the Latin population of Spanish descent and in populations with similar Caucasian characteristics.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Reference Values
  • Spain
  • White People*