Pulmonary function between 6 and 18 years of age

Pediatr Pulmonol. 1993 Feb;15(2):75-88. doi: 10.1002/ppul.1950150204.


Pulmonary function of children aged 6-18 years is described based on 82,462 annual measurements of forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expired volume in 1 second (FEV1), and forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of FVC (FEF25-75%) from 11,630 white children and 989 black children. Median height, FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC, and FEF25-75% for each 3 months of age are compared among race and sex subgroups. Race- and sex-specific percentile distributions of FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC, and FEF25-75% are presented for each centimeter of height (growth curves). For the same height, boys have greater lung function values than girls, and whites have greater ones than blacks. Lung function increases linearly with age until the adolescent growth spurt at about age 10 years in girls and 12 in boys. The pulmonary function vs. height relationship shifts with age during adolescence. Thus, a single equation or the pulmonary function-height growth chart alone does not completely describe growth during the complex adolescent period. Nevertheless, race- and sex-specific growth curves of pulmonary function vs. height make it easy to display and evaluate repeated measures of pulmonary function for an individual child. Race-, sex-, and age-specific regression equations based on height are provided, which permit the evaluation of growth during adolescence with improved accuracy and, more importantly, in comparison with previous observations for the same child.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Black People
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sex Characteristics
  • White People