Effects of asthma on pulmonary function in children. A longitudinal population-based study

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992 Jan;145(1):58-64. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/145.1.58.


Data from a longitudinal study of childhood factors influencing the development of chronic obstructive lung disease were used to assess the effects of asthma on lung function development in male and female children. A population-based cohort of 602 white children, initially aged 5 to 9 yr, was observed prospectively for 13 yr. Spirometry was performed and a standardized respiratory and illness questionnaire was administered by trained interviewers on a yearly basis. Forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and forced expiratory flow between 25 and 75% of vital capacity (FEF25-75) were used as measures of lung function. The total number of children reporting asthma over the course of the study was 67. Male asthmatic subjects (n = 42) had larger average percentage of predicted FVC than nonasthmatic males (n = 277). Female asthmatic subjects (n = 23) had a lower average percentage of predicted FEV1 than nonasthmatic females (n = 260). In a multivariate analysis of the individual lung function measures, adjusting for previous level of pulmonary function, age, height, change in height, and personal and maternal smoking, males reporting active asthma had a significantly larger FVC than males with no history of asthma. In contrast, females with active asthma had a significantly smaller FEV1 than females with no history of asthma. Both males and females with active asthma had decreased FEF25-75. From our analysis, we would predict that a female who develops asthma at age 7 would experience a 5% reduction in FEV1 by age 10 and a 7% deficit by age 15.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Maximal Midexpiratory Flow Rate
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Mechanics*
  • Sex Factors
  • Vital Capacity