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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2009 March;62(1):45-55

language: English, Italian

Predictive spirometric values for athletes. First part: pulmonary volumes

Leonardi L. M. 1, Todaro A. 1, Besi M. 1, Leonardi E. M. 2, Faina M. 1

1 Sport Science and Medicine Institute,CONI Servizi, Rome, Italy
2 Faculty of Biology, Third University of Rome, Rome, Italy


Spirometry is a fundamental test for measuring the efficiency of the thoracopulmonary system. Its results are interpreted by comparing them with predictive values in subjects of the same gender, age and physical constitution. In the case of athletes, theoretical values that are inappropriate for their particular physical characteristics are generally used on the basis not only of genetic predisposition but also of training and the type of sporting activity they engage in. It was therefore considered useful to establish valid predictive values for this population, bearing in mind the sporting event in question. The following parameters were considered and processed statistically for 7 540 athletes (5 255 males, 2 285 females): vital capacity, forced expiratory volume/1 s and maximum voluntary ventilation. Predictive regression equations are proposed for these parameters for nine classes of sporting event.

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