Longitudinal lung function growth of Mexican children compared with international studies

PLoS One. 2013 Oct 15;8(10):e77403. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077403. eCollection 2013.


Introduction: Our aim was to compare the longitudinal lung function growth of Mexican children and adolescents with the collated spirometric reference proposed for international use and with that of Mexican-Americans from the National Health State Examination Survey III (NHANES) III study.

Materials and methods: A cohort of Mexican children in third year of primary school was followed with spirometry twice a year through secondary school. Multilevel mixed-effects lineal models separated by gender were fit for the spirometric variables of 2,641 respiratory-healthy Mexican children expressed as Z-scores of tested reference equations. Impact of adjustment by sitting height on differences with Mexican-American children was observed in a subsample of 1,987 children.

Results: At same gender, age, and height, Mexican children had increasingly higher forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and Forced vital capacity (FVC) than the children from the collated reference study (mean Z-score, 0.68 for FEV1 and 0.51 for FVC) and than Mexican-American children (Z-score, 0.23 for FEV1 and 0.21 for FVC) respectively. Differences with Mexican-Americans were not reduced by adjusting by sitting height.

Conclusions: For reasons that remain unclear, the gender-, age-, and height-adjusted lung function of children from Mexico City is higher than that reported by several international studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiratory Function Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Spirometry

Grants and funding

Funding was provided by CONACyT-México and the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.