Pulmonary functions of school children in highly polluted northern Bohemia

Arch Environ Health. 1997 Jan-Feb;52(1):56-62. doi: 10.1080/00039899709603801.


The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether pulmonary function in children who were lifetime residents of the highly polluted district of Teplice in northern Bohemia was lower than that for children who were lifetime residents of the cleaner district of Prachatice in southern Bohemia. Forced expiratory spirometry was measured twice (February/March and April) in approximately 235 eighth-grade students in each district. On both testing occasions, height-adjusted forced expiratory volume in 1 s and forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% forced vital capacity were significantly lower (p < .001) in children from Teplice than in those from Prachatice. These differences were not associated with parental smoking habits, presence of pets, heating/cooking fuels, private home/apartment residency, or rural/urban residency. In Teplice, no differences were observed between lung functions measured at the end of the high pollution season (February/March) and those measured after the children breathed much cleaner air for a 4-wk period (April). This result was suggestive of a condition of chronically depressed lung function. No differences across times were observed in Prachatice, indicating that our measurements were reliable.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Czech Republic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Seasons


  • Air Pollutants