Introduction: The aim of this study was to analyse the factors influencing pulmonary function and inspiratory muscle strength in healthy Tunisian women aged >or=45 years and in particular to determine the effect of parity.
Methods: A medical questionnaire together with an evaluation of sporting activity score and 2 levels for schooling and socio-economic status was administered. Parity was introduced as numeric, as dichotomous (G1:<or=3; G2: >or=4) and in 3 classes (C1:<2; C2:=3-4; C3: > 4). Plethysmography with measurement of airway conductance and maximal inspiratory pressure was performed.
Results: 108 women were included. According to the ascending multiple linear regression, and in decreasing order, the following influencing factors are noted: Age and height, parity, weight and daily activity, schooling level, and finally leisure activity, body mass index, and physical activity. With high parity, and especially in women aged >or=60 years, there was a decrease in inspiratory muscle strength and an obstructive tendency, without associated restrictive component. Parity effects are age independent.
Conclusions: Factors influencing the pulmonary function of healthy Tunisian women aged >or=45 years are multiple. Lung function declines with increasing parity.