A comparison of a smoking and nonsmoking population using the forced expiratory flow in the seventy-five to eighty-five percent segment of the spirometric curve Public Deposited

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  • Forced vital capacity lung expiration examinations of nonsmoking and cigarette-smoking male sample populations were compared to determine if the 75 to 85 percent segment was a more sensitive test of early lung dysfunction. The nonsmoking population was composed of 240 men who were tested for values of forced vital capacity and forced expiratory flow 25 to 75 percent. Of this original group, 213 were evaluated for forced expiratory flow 75 to 85 percent. The smoking population contained 75 healthy men who had a history of consuming ten or more cigarettes per day for at least ten years. All participants were between the ages of 30 and 49. Nine-liter Stead- Wells spirometers with a plastic bell were used to measure lung capacity. Differences between the populations were determined by using linear analysis of covariance. Predictive regression equations were formulated for nonsmokers and smokers for FVC, FEF ₂₅₋₇₅[subscript %] and FEF ₇₅₋₈₅[subscript %]* The primary significant difference between the nonsmokers and smokers was found in the forced expiratory capacity flow rates farthest from total lung capacity (FEF ₇₅₋₈₅[subscript %]). Flow rates for the middle half of the spirogram (FEF ₂₅₋₇₅[subscript %]) were not significantly different for these two populations. Neither was there a difference for the forced vital capacity (FVC). In general, two other tests were found significant for only the FEF ₇₅₋₈₅[subscript %]. First, smokers with any symptoms of pulmonary damage as defined through the Emphysema Screening and Research Center questionnaire averaged significantly lower spirogram values. Secondly, the more years an individual smoked (minimum of ten cigarettes per day) the lower his test score.
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