ARTICLE

The FEV(1)/FEV(6) ratio is a good substitute for the FEV(1)/FVC ratio in the elderly

Prim Care Respir J. 2006 Sep 13 Melbye H, Medbo A, Crockett A. Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tromso, 9037 Tromso, Norway.

AIMS: To determine the agreement between the FEV(1)/FEV(6) ratio and the FEV(1)/FVC ratio in an elderly population.

METHOD: The study sample consisted of 3874 participants in a cross-sectional population survey in Tromso, Norway, aged 60 years or more, in whom acceptable spirometry had been obtained. Mean differences between the FEV(1)/FEV(6) ratio (%) and the FEV(1)/FVC ratio (%) were calculated according to age, sex, smoking habit, and the degree of airflow limitation. ROC-curve analysis and Kappa-statistics were used to estimate the utility of the FEV(1)/FEV(6) ratio in predicting an FEV(1)/FVC ratio<70%.

RESULTS: The mean difference between FEV(1)/FEV(6)% and FEV(1)/FVC% was 2.7% in both men and women. The difference between the two measures increased somewhat with increasing age, and was more pronounced with smoking and decreasing FEV(1)/FVC ratio. The value for the FEV(1)/FEV(6) ratio which best predicted an FEV(1)/FVC ratio of 70%, was 73%, and a very good agreement was found between these two cut-off values (kappa=0.86).

CONCLUSION: The FEV(1)/FEV(6) ratio appears to be a good substitute for the FEV(1)/FVC ratio in an elderly population.

 

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