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Editorials |

Lower Limit of Normal Is Better Than 70% or 80%

James E. Hansen, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Medicine, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Los Angeles County/UCLA Harbor Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Correspondence to: James E. Hansen, MD, FCCP, Respiratory and Critical Care Physiology and Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA, 1124 W Carson St, RB2, Box 405, Torrance, CA 90502; e-mail: jhansen@labiomed.org


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The author has reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2011;139(1):6-8. doi:10.1378/chest.10-1117
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Congratulations to Miller and colleagues1 for their excellent contribution in this issue of CHEST (see page 52) that points out some of the flaws in defining abnormal lung function by using fixed thresholds of <70% FEV1/FVC to define airway obstruction and an FEV1 <80% predicted to define abnormalities for spirometry, lung volumes, and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (Dlco). These authors reviewed the pulmonary function tests of > 11,000 consecutive white adult patients seen at medical centers in Birmingham, England; St. Louis, Missouri; and Christchurch, New Zealand. The reference equations and methods used at these sites differed only in minor ways.

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