Familial factors related to lung function in children aged 6-10 years. Results from the PAARC epidemiologic study

Am J Epidemiol. 1989 Jun;129(6):1289-99. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a115248.


Familial factors related to lung function between six and 10 years of age have been studied among 1,160 children whose both parents were examined in 1975 in the French PAARC (Pollution Atmosphérique et Affections Respiratoires Chroniques) Cooperative Study. The three indices FVC (forced vital capacity), FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second), and FEF25-75 (forced expiratory flow between 25 and 75 per cent of the vital capacity) were studied after adjustment for sex, town, age, and height (and weight for children's FVC and FEV1). Maternal (but not paternal) smoking was associated with a significant decrease in FEV1 and FEF25-75, but not in FVC. Familial resemblance was observed for all indices between children and parents and between siblings. None of the environmental factors considered (i.e., parental smoking or education) or body habitus explained the familial resemblance observed. Conversely, after taking into account the aggregation between siblings, associations between children's lung function and parental characteristics (smoking, lung function) remained significant. Parental-children correlations exhibited an increasing temporal trend with increasing age of the children. All but one correlation for FVC, FEV1, and FEF25-75 residuals of children with mothers' residuals were higher in the oldest age group compared with the youngest age group at the 0.10 level. Furthermore, correlations between siblings of opposite sex were significantly lower than correlations between siblings of like sex, especially for FEV1/FVC and FEF25-75/FVC. Results suggest that different growth patterns between boys and girls may be a critical factor in the study of lung function familial resemblance.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Genetics, Medical
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Maximal Midexpiratory Flow Rate
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vital Capacity