Spirometry guidelines influence lung function results in a longitudinal study of young adults

Lewis J. Smith, Alexander Arynchyn, Ravi Kalhan, O. Dale Williams, Robert Jensen, Robert Crapo, David R. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Rationale: End of test criteria can influence spirometry results. Epidemiology studies initiated before adoption of the 1987 American Thoracic Society (ATS) guidelines typically used a 1 or 2 s plateau on the volume-time curve, not a minimum test duration of 6 s, to terminate a test. Objectives: To determine the effect of changing guidelines on FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC during a longitudinal study of young adults. Methods: Spirometry was performed on participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. Values obtained at entry and 2, 5 and 10 years later using accepted procedures were re-evaluated using the 2005 ATS-ERS guidelines, which were in effect for the year 20 exam. Generalized estimating equations were used to adjust tests with short exhalations that were acceptable by then current end of test criteria. Results: The percentage of participants at years 0, 2, 5, and 10 with exhalations less than 6 s but with an acceptable plateau was 33%, 29%, 9%, and 2%, respectively. Exhalations less than 6 s occurred more frequently in younger and female participants, and were associated with lower FVC and higher FEV1/FVC. For short exhalations the adjusted FVC was 47 ml and 110 ml higher than the measured FVC when 6 and 8 s exhalation times were used. Conclusions: In longitudinal studies of young adults, changing end of test criteria may affect lung function, especially among younger and female participants. Determining adjusted values for tests with short exhalations may better represent the lung health of participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)858-864
Number of pages7
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute contracts N01-HC-48047, N01-HC-48048, N01-HC-48049, N01-HC-48050 (CARDIA field centers), N01-HC-95095 (CARDIA Coordinating Center), and N01-HC045134 Reading Center (CARDIA Pulmonary Reading Center).


  • Forced expiratory time
  • Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV)
  • Forced vital capacity (FVC)
  • Pulmonary function testing
  • Spirometry


Dive into the research topics of 'Spirometry guidelines influence lung function results in a longitudinal study of young adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this