Study of pulmonary function test in asymptomatic smokers and non-smokers between 30-50 years of age in a tertiary care hospital

Kekhrielhouto Sophie, Neelima Singh, Avinash John Dharvey


Background: Tobacco smoking is widely prevalent all over the world and it continues to rise in developing countries. Smoking has a deleterious effect on pulmonary functions. Smoking is the single most significant risk factor contributing to the development of Chronic obstructive airway diseases (COPD). Spirometry by a trained health professional gives an indication of lung health by measuring airway abnormality. Objectives were to study pulmonary function test (PFT) in smokers and non-smokers between 30-50 years and to study the correlation of PFT with pack years.

Methods: Apparently healthy subjects, 50 smokers and 50 non-smokers between 30-50 years without any symptoms were included as subjects. Patients with uncontrolled hypertension, recent myocardial infarction and pulmonary TB were excluded. Ex-smokers were excluded from the study. Patients with acute respiratory illness, severe systemic illness, chest trauma and dementia were also excluded. After proper history taking and clinical examination, measuring height and weight (vitals, pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure) the selected individual was subjected to spirometry using ATS criteria (American Thoracic Society criteria). Spirometry was performed using UNI-EM spirometer. Collected data was analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Service (SPSS) software version 17.

Results: In this study 94 males and 6 females were enrolled as subjects. Maximum number of the patient 49 cases (49%) presented in the age group of 30-35 years, followed by 23 cases (23%) in 36-40 years age group. Of these 49 cases,15 were smokers while the rest 34 were non-smokers (P=0.0007). In 100 cases studied, 39% showed normal PFT and 61% shows abnormal PFT. Among smokers (out of total 50 cases) pulmonary function test (PFT) was abnormal in 36 cases (72%) while in non-smokers, 25 (50%) had abnormal PFT (P-value-0.024). This data indicates that smoking is highly associated with an abnormal PFT pattern. Out of 100 cases both smokers and non-smokers, 11 (73.33%) underweight cases with (BMI<18.4) showed abnormal PFT. In 50 smokers, maximum cases 29 (58%) had normal BMI (18.5-22.9) (P value 0.0002). Abnormal PFT was observed in 25 (50%) non-smokers (P=0.001). Abnormal PFT was seen in 30 (69.77%) smokers with pack years <15 and 6 smokers (85.6%) with pack years >15 (P-value 0.383).

Conclusions: Smoking is common in males between 30-35 years age group. Smoking is highly associated with an abnormal PFT. Cessation of smoking should be encouraged and PFTs from time to time in asymptomatic adults both smokers and non-smokers will be useful for early identification of abnormalities.


COPD, PFT, Smoking

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