Rationale: Despite the high burden of respiratory disease, no spirometry reference values for African children are available. Objectives: Investigate whether the Global Lung Initiative (GLI-2012) reference values for spirometry are appropriate for children in sub- Saharan Africa and assess the impact ofmalnutrition on lung function. Methods: Anthropometry and spirometry were obtained in children aged 6 to 12 years from urban and semiurban schools in three African countries. Spirometry z-scores were derived using the GLI-2012 prediction equations for African Americans. Thinness (body mass index z-score<-2) was a surrogate for malnutrition. Spirometry outcomes were compared with those of African American children from the third National Health and Nutrition Survey. Measurements and Main Results: Spirometry data were analyzed from 1,082 schoolchildren (51% boys) aged 6.0 to 12.8 years in Angola (n = 306), Democratic Republic of the Congo (n = 377), and Madagascar (n = 399). GLI-2012 provided a good fit with mean (SD) z-scores of 20.11 (0.83) for FEV1, 20.08 (0.86) for FVC, and 20.07 (0.83) for FEV1/FVC. Because of low scatter, the fifth centile corresponded to 21.3 z-scores in boys and 21.5 z-scores in girls. Malnourished African children had a normal FEV1/FVC ratio but significant reductions of ∼0.5 z-scores (∼5%) in FEV1 and FVC compared with African American peers from the third National Health and Nutrition Survey. Children in Angola had the lowest, and those in Madagascar had the highest, zFEV1 and zFVC. Conclusions: The results of this study support the use of GLI-2012 reference values for schoolchildren in sub-Saharan Africa. Malnutrition affects body growth, leading to a proportionately smaller FEV1 and FVC without respiratory impairment, as shown by the normal FEV1/FVC ratio.

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doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201604-0693OC, hdl.handle.net/1765/95568
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Department of Pulmonology

Arigliani, M. (Michele), Canciani, M.C. (Mario C.), Mottini, G. (Giovanni), Altomare, M. (Michele), Magnolato, A. (Andrea), Clemente, S.V.L. (Sofia Vanda Loa), … Quanjer, P. (2017). Evaluation of the global lung initiative 2012 reference values for spirometry in African children. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 195(2), 229–236. doi:10.1164/rccm.201604-0693OC