Spirometry reference equations for central European populations from school age to old age

PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e52619. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052619. Epub 2013 Jan 8.


Background: Spirometry reference values are important for the interpretation of spirometry results. Reference values should be updated regularly, derived from a population as similar to the population for which they are to be used and span across all ages. Such spirometry reference equations are currently lacking for central European populations.

Objective: To develop spirometry reference equations for central European populations between 8 and 90 years of age.

Materials: We used data collected between January 1993 and December 2010 from a central European population. The data was modelled using "Generalized Additive Models for Location, Scale and Shape" (GAMLSS).

Results: The spirometry reference equations were derived from 118'891 individuals consisting of 60'624 (51%) females and 58'267 (49%) males. Altogether, there were 18'211 (15.3%) children under the age of 18 years.

Conclusion: We developed spirometry reference equations for a central European population between 8 and 90 years of age that can be implemented in a wide range of clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena*
  • Spirometry* / statistics & numerical data
  • White People
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

The work of R.P. Laubender was partially supported by the LMUinnovativ project Munich Center of Health Sciences (McHealth). No additional external funding was received for this study. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.