PURPOSE: To establish reference values for pulmonary function (PFTs) of retired professional American football players (rPAFP). We hypothesized: 1) rPAFP derived prediction equations differ from the NHANESIII equations in these large men 2) No lung function difference exists between Caucasian-Americans (CA) and African-American (AA) men of similar body builds and adult physical activity history and socioeconomic status.
METHODS: Cross sectional study of 549 volunteers recruited to ten health screenings conducted by the Living Heart Foundation. Inclusion criteria for reference values were current or former professional American football play, good quality spirometry, lifetime nonsmokers, absence of self-reported asthma or other chronic lung disease. Simple linear regression derived prediction equations for forced vital capacity (FVC, liters) and forced expiratory volume one second (FEV1, liters).
RESULTS: 311 participants (191 CA and 120 AA) met inclusion criteria. Mean demographic characteristics were age 50.7 + 13.0 years (range 23-85), height 73.3 + 2.6 inches (range 64-81), weight 241 + 44 pounds (range 155-393), and body mass index 31.4 +4.7 (range 22.3-50.5).rPAFP prediction equations correlated with NHANESIII equations for FVC (r=0.951) and for FEV1 (r=0.955), but paired t-test showed statistically significant differences for %predicted FVC (97+12.6 NHANESIII vs 100+13 rPAFP, p<0.0001) and %predicted FEV1 (95+11 NHANESIII vs 100+12 rPAFP, p<0.0001). FVC differed by race (4.61+0.78 AA vs 5.35+1.00 CA (p<0.05)) as did FEV1 (3.58+0.60 AA vs 4.05+0.75 CA (p<0.05)). The rPAFP prediction equations are: FEV1(AA) = (−0.01891)* age + (0.1055)* height + (−3.2197) FVC (AA) = −0.01696)* age + (0.1433)* height + (−5.0254) FEV1 (CA) = (−0.03254)* age + (0.1151)* height + (−2.6857) FVC (CA) = (−0.03902)* age + (0.1539)* height + (−3.8886).
CONCLUSION: rPAFP derived prediction equations differ from the NHANESIII equations in these large men although the large residual error suggests a need to additional rPAFP modeling. Lung function differences between highly athletic Caucasian-American and African-American men are similar in magnitude to results from general population samples.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: These data support the use of population specific prediction equations of pulmonary function testing, and for CA and AA specific prediction equations even among men who during their early adult life shared similar body habitus, physical activity history, and socioeconomic factors.
DISCLOSURE: Janette Foster, None.