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Background

Ethnic disparities in lung function have been linked mainly to anthropometric factors but have not been fully explained. We conducted a cross-sectional pilot study to investigate how best to study ethnic differences in lung function in young adults and evaluate whether these could be explained by birth weight and socio-economic factors.

Methods

We recruited 112 university students of White and South Asian British ethnicity, measured post-bronchodilator lung function, obtained information on respiratory symptoms and socio-economic factors through questionnaires, and acquired birth weight through data linkage. We regressed lung function against ethnicity and candidate predictors defined a priori using linear regression, and used penalised regression to examine a wider range of factors. We reviewed the implications of our findings for the feasibility of a larger study.

Results

There was a similar parental socio-economic environment and no difference in birth weight between the two ethnic groups, but the ethnic difference in FVC adjusted for sex, age, height, demi-span, father’s occupation, birth weight, maternal educational attainment and maternal upbringing was 0.81L 95%CI: -1.01 to -0.54L. Difference in body proportions did not explain the ethnic differences although parental immigration was an important predictor of FVC independent of ethnic group. Participants were comfortable with study procedures and we were able to link birth weight data to clinical measurements.

Conclusion

Studies of ethnic disparities in lung function among young adults are feasible. Future studies should recruit a socially more diverse sample and investigate the role of markers of acculturation in explaining such differences.



Autor: Neil J. Saad , Jaymini Patel, Cosetta Minelli, Peter G. J. Burney

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/



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