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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 422-426

Peak expiratory flow rate of healthy school children living at high altitude

1 Department of Physiology, Gian Sagar Medical College, Rajpura, Patiala, Punjab, India
2 Department of Physiology, Government Medical College, Patiala, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Sharat Gupta
H.No# 849, SST Nagar, Rajpura Road, Patiala, Punjab - 147 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.115781

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Background: Anthropometric and socioeconomic factors are known to influence peak expiratory flow rate, but the effect of altitude has not been established decisively, due to conflicting results of various studies. Aim: This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of altitude on peak expiratory flow rate of healthy school children. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in which the peak expiratory flow rate of a group of 290 school children (140 male and 150 female), aged 7-14 years, residing in Shimla (altitude 2150 meters), were compared with the results obtained in an age- and sex-matched control group, consisting of 280 school children (138 male and 142 female), residing in Patiala (altitude 278 meters). Mini Wright Peak Flow Meter was used for the study. Results: The mean peak expiratory flow rate value of boys at high altitude (265 ± 92.6 L/min) was significantly higher than those in plain areas (245 ± 82.1 L/min). Similarly, the mean peak expiratory flow rate of highlander girls (250.4 ± 70.2 L/min) was significantly higher than girls of plains (232.6 ± 65 L/min). Conclusion: The study suggests that besides anthropometric and socioeconomic factors, altitude is an important determinant of lung function.

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