The diagnosis and severity categorisation of obstructive lung disease is determined using reference values. The American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society in 2005 recommended the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III spirometry prediction equations for patients in USA aged 8–80 years. The Global Lung Initiative 2012 (GLI 12) provided spirometry prediction equations for patients aged 3–95 years. Comparison of the NHANES III and GLI 12 prediction equations for diagnosing and categorising airway obstruction in patients in USA has not been made.
We aimed to quantify the differences between NHANES III and GLI 12 predicted values in Caucasians aged 18–95 years, using both mathematical simulation and clinical data. We compared predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and lower limit of normal (LLN) FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) % for NHANES III and GLI 12 prediction equations by applying both a simulation model and clinical spirometry data to quantify differences in the diagnosis and categorisation of airway obstruction.
Mathematical simulation revealed significant similarities and differences between prediction equations for both LLN FEV1/FVC % and predicted FEV1. There are significant differences when using GLI 12 and NHANES III to diagnose airway obstruction and severity in Caucasian patients aged 18–95 years.
Similarities and differences exist between NHANES III and GLI 12 for some age and height combinations. The differences in LLN FEV1/FVC % and predicted FEV1 are most prominent in older taller/shorter individuals. The magnitude of the differences can be large and may result in differences in clinical management.
Significant differences exist between NHANES III and GLI 12 prediction equations for some age and height combinations http://ow.ly/4mWTZ8
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Support statement: This study was supported by the Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation, and Intermountain Healthcare-Utah, USA.
Conflict of interest: None declared.
- Received October 15, 2015.
- Accepted April 14, 2016.
- Copyright ©ERS 2016