Background: In Tunisia, there are no normal values of pulmonary function for healthy Tunisian children.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to set reference values for spirometric lung function in Tunisian children and to compare these results with other data sets.
Methods: Spirometric values were measured with a Minato portable spirometer in 1,114 asymptomatic, nonsmoking Tunisian children (581 boys and 533 girls) 6-16 years of age. Natural logarithmic values of lung function and standing height were used in the final regression model.
Results: Prediction equations for forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)), FEV(1)/FVC x 100, maximum mid expiratory flow (MMEF 25-75%) and peak expiratory flow (PEF) for both sexes are presented with standing height as the dependent variable. Our data show a significant increase in lung function with standing height in both sexes. Comparing our results with recent data, values of FVC and FEV(1) in both sexes in the present study are close to those in European, white US and Asian children, whereas our values are higher than the Libyan ones.
Conclusions: Healthy Tunisian children showed similar spirometric reference values compared to European, white US and Asian children. Thus, these standards of lung function could also be used in Tunisia.