BACKGROUND: Currently, no reference or normative values for spirometry based on a randomly selected Canadian population exist.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present analysis was to construct spirometric reference values for Canadian adults 20 to 90 years of age by combining data collected from healthy lifelong nonsmokers in two population-based studies.
METHOD: Both studies similarly used random population sampling, conducted using validated epidemiological protocols in the Canadian Obstructive Lung Disease study, and the Lung Health Canadian Environment study. Spirometric lung function data were available from 3042 subjects in the COLD study, which was completed in 2009, and from 2571 subjects in the LHCE study completed in 1995. A total of 844 subjects 40 to 90 years of age, and 812 subjects 20 to 44 years of age, were identified as healthy, asymptomatic, lifelong nonsmokers, and provided normative reference values for spirometry. Multiple regression models were constructed separately for Caucasian men and women for the following spirometric parameters: forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC) and FEV1/FVC ratio, with covariates of height, sex and age. Comparison with published regression equations showed that the best agreement was obtained from data derived from random populations.
RESULTS: The best-fitting regression models for healthy, never-smoking, asymptomatic European-Canadian men and women 20 to 90 years of age were constructed. When age- and height-corrected FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC ratio were compared with other spirometry reference studies, mean values were similar, with the closest being derived from population-based studies.
CONCLUSION: These spirometry reference equations, derived from randomly selected population-based cohorts with stringently monitored lung function measurements, provide data currently lacking in Canada.