Background: Wind instrument playing requires a strenuous respiratory activity. Previous studies investigating effect of wind instrument playing on pulmonary function are equivocal.
Methods: In the present study, 34 male, non-smoker wind players in a military band were compared with 44 healthy non-smoker males by pulmonary function testing.
Results: All spirometric values including forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), FEV1/FVC, peak expiratory flow rate, forced expiratory flow in 25, 50, 75% of FVC, and during the middle half of the FVC were found significantly diminished in wind players. The class of wind instrument, brass or wood, showed no significant differences. FVC was significantly and negatively correlated with duration of practice.
Conclusions: It was concluded that pulmonary function in wind players might be diminished probably due to development of asthma or constant barotrauma during their playing. This fact should be considered in clinical evaluation of wind instrument players.