Using "Lung Age" for Smoking Cessation.
Many physicians use spirometry to measure the lung function of smokers as a means to convince them to stop smoking. If airflow obstruction is present (as evidenced by a reduction in FEV1.0), this can be shown to the patient as evidence of the damage that cigarettes are doing to their lungs. Rather than telling a patient that their lung function is x% reduced, it may have more impact to tell the patient the age they would be for that lung function to be 100% predicted. Telling a 55-year old male smoker that his lung function is that predicted for a 93-year old is likely to be more eye-opening than telling him that his FEV 1.0 is 77% of predicted.
The accompanying predictive formula was derived from normal Caucasian subjects (Crapo RO 1981). It allows you to enter your patient's gender, height, and measured FEV1.0, then derive the age for which that FEV1.0 value is 100% predicted.
Crapo RO, Morris AH, Gardner RM. Reference spirometric values using techniques and equipment that meet ATS recommendations. Am Rev Respir Dis 1981; 123:659-664.
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