Background: Little is known about the effect of pubertal stages on lung function parameters in Tunisian children.
Aim: The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between lung function and pubertal stage in Tunisian children using anthropometric parameters.
Subjects and methods: Pulmonary function parameters were measured with a Minato portable spirometer in 684 healthy Tunisian children (351 males and 333 females) aged between 8 and 16. The pubertal status was assessed for males and females according to the Tanner Method.
Results: A large variation was observed in the distribution of children's age and height by pubertal stages in both sexes. Height increased with age and pubertal stage in both males and females. The results also showed a significant increase in parameters of lung function (FVC, FEV(1), PEF, MEF(50) and MMEF(25-75)) with pubertal stage in Tunisian children. The analysis of covariance adjusting for anthropometric parameters showed that pubertal status had a significant independent effect on some pulmonary function parameters in both sexes.
Conclusion: The results indicated that the parameters of pulmonary function for healthy Tunisian school children increased with age, height and pubertal stage. The present study has indicated that the use of only one morphological parameter such as height is not sufficient, but the pubertal status could be taken into account to standardize the lung function.