Risk factors for childhood respiratory disease. Analysis of pulmonary function

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1984 Aug;130(2):187-92. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1984.130.2.187.


Four thousand elementary-school-age children from a rural area of western Pennsylvania participated in a cross-sectional survey that consisted of a standardized respiratory questionnaire completed by their parents and spirometric testing at school. Spirographic tracings were digitized to obtain the FVC, FEV0.75, FEF25-75, Vmax75, and Vmax90, which were standardized for height, age, and sex for the subsequent analyses. Independent associations of potential risk factors with the standardized pulmonary function measures were evaluated with multiple regression techniques. Asthma, persistent wheeze, and parental smoking habits, especially those of the mothers, were associated with lower flow rates. The effect of parental smoking was primarily due to smoking by the mother and was stronger in girls. In female children of currently smoking mothers, FEF25-75 was 96% of predicted, Vmax75 was 95% of predicted, and Vmax90 was 92% of predicted; each flow measure was 98% of predicted in male children of smoking mothers. Prolonged hospitalization at birth was independently associated with lower FEV0.75 and flow rates. Low socioeconomic status was associated with lower FVC and FEV0.75. Neither current gas stove use nor a history of severe chest illness before 2 yr of age were independently associated with lower levels of pulmonary function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Risk
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Vital Capacity


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution