American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

Bronchial responsiveness (BR) was assessed by the methacholine challenge test in 1,694 subjects from a sample of the general population (aged 8 to 73 yr) enrolled in a prospective epidemiologic study on the natural history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Information on respiratory symptoms and risk factors for COPD were obtained with a standardized questionnaire. The provocative dose causing a 10%, 15%, and 20% decrease in FEV1 was reached in 939 (55%), 658 (39%), and 447 (26%) subjects, respectively, after the last cumulative dose of methacholine (i.e., 4.8 mg). The slope of the dose-response curve was also computed in order to attribute a parameter to subjects who did not reach the provocative dose. After natural log transformation, the slope (Ln Slope) of the curve showed a significant association with the degree of airway obstruction, as assessed by FEV1% predicted, FEV1/VC%, and FEV1/FVC%. Therefore, relationships between BR, sex, age, and smoking were evaluated after adjustments for the initial airway caliber (FEV1, FEV1 adjusted for height, and FEV1/VC%). Females showed significantly higher values of Ln Slope than did males after adjustments were made for baseline lung function. In males, higher BR was observed in childhood-adolescence age groups and at older ages, while in females a higher level of BR was observed during childhood. Significantly higher Ln Slope values were found for females who currently smoked than for non- and ex-smokers. No difference was observed in males in relation to smoking habit. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


No related items
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

Click to see any corrections or updates and to confirm this is the authentic version of record