Pulmonary function between 6 and 18 years of age

Xiaobin Wang, Douglas W. Dockery, David Wypij, Martha E. Fay, Benjamin G. Ferris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

517 Scopus citations


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/FVC1 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. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-88
Number of pages14
JournalPediatric pulmonology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Spirometry
  • age
  • growth curves
  • race
  • regression equations
  • relation of functions to height
  • sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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