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NJBMS - Volume 3, Issue 4, April - June 2013

Pages: 261-264
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EVALUATION OF PULMONARY FUNCTIONS INCLUSIVE OF SPECIFIC AIRWAY CONDUCTANCE IN INDIVIDUALS WORKING IN AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENT

Author: DIVYA, SHIVAKUMAR VEERAIAH

Category: Physiology

Abstract:

Background: Numerous studies have shown that breathing of cold dry air causes bronchospasm. But not many studies have been done regarding effect of daily exposure to air conditioners on respiratory system. So an attempt has been made to study the pulmonary function in information technology employees working in air conditioned environment.

Aim: To study the effect of regular exposure of air conditioners, on pulmonary function tests including specific airway conductance.

Materials and methods: The study group comprised of 35 healthy, male information technology employees working in air conditioned environment and 35 age, sex, BMI matched controls. Pulmonary function tests were done using MEC PFT- body box 100 system. FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in first second), FVC (forced vital capacity), FEV1/FVC, PEFR (peak expiratory flow rate), FEF25-75 (forced expiratory flow rate between 25-75% of FVC) were measured using MEC PFT and sGAW (specific airway conductance) was measured using body plethysmography.

Statistical analysis: ANOVA, Mann Whitney U, Student t test (two tailed, independent), Student t test (two tailed, dependent).

Results and conclusion: FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, PEFR, FEF 25-75, and sGAW were reduced significantly (p value < 0.001) in information technology employees when compared to the controls. The decrease in sGAW, which is aspecific measure for bronchomotor tone, gives definite evidence of airway obstruction in individuals exposed to air conditioners

Keywords: air conditioners; bronchoconstriction; cold dry air; pulmonary function test, specific airway conductance.