Relations between respiratory symptoms and spirometric values in young adults: The European community respiratory health study

Jordi Sunyer, Xavier Basagaña, Josep Roca, Isabel Urrutia, Angels Jaen, Josep M. Antó, Peter Burney, S. Chinn, C. Luczynska, D. Jarvis, E. Lai, M. Abramson, J. Kutin, P. Vermeire, F. van Bastelaer, J. Bousquet, F. Neukirch, R. Liard, I. Pin, C. PisonA. Taytard, H. Magnussen, D. Nowak, H. E. Wichmann, J. Heinrich, T. Gislason, D. Gislason, J. Prichard, S. Allwright, D. Macleod, M. Bugiani, C. Bucca, C. Romano, R. de Marco, V. Lo Cascio, C. Campello, A. Marinoni, I. Cerveri, L. Casali, B. Rijcken, A. Kremer, J. Crane, S. Lewis, A. Gulsvik, E. Omenaas, J. Anto, A. Jaen, J. Roca, M. Kogevinas, N. Muniozguren, I. Urrutia, A. Capelastegui, J. Martinez-Moratalla, E. Almar, J. Maldonado, A. Pereira, J. Sánchez, F. Payo, I. Huerta, G. Boman, C. Janson, E. Bjornsson, L. Rosenhall, E. Norrman, B. Lundback, N. Lindholm, P. Plasche, U. Ackermann-Liebrich, N. Künzli, A. Perruchoud, M. Burr, J. Layzqll, R. Hall, B. Harrison, J. Stark, S. Buist, W. Vollmer, M. Osborne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We aim to assess whether respiratory symptoms are associated with lung function in young adults, and whether any such relation is similar in those with asthma, in men and women, and in different countries. Study participants (aged 20-44 years) were randomly selected from the general population in 35 centres in 15 countries as part of the European Community Respiratory Health Study. In all, 12,541 subjects (47%) completed a respiratory symptoms questionnaire and spirometry, metacholine challenge and immunoglobulin E tests. Indicators of diagnosed asthma showed the largest association with airways obstruction (FEV1-maximal 1-s forced expiratory volume/forced vital capacity-FVC1/FVC ratios were greater or equal to 70%, wheezing or shortness of breath was associated with lower FEV1levels (-211 ml in men and -169 ml in women (P1levels. Findings were homogeneous across all centres. These results suggest that lung diseases that cause wheezing are generally associated with impaired lung function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1025-1033
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Asthma
  • Bronchial obstruction
  • Factor analysis
  • FEV<inf>1</inf>
  • FVC
  • Lung function
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Wheezing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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