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Revista chilena de enfermedades respiratorias

On-line version ISSN 0717-7348


ORENA C., Viviana; VALDIVIA C., Gonzalo  and  FERRECCIO R., Catterina. Peak expiratory flow rate: characterization study in Chilean adult population; baseline results of the Maule cohort (MAUCO). Rev. chil. enferm. respir. [online]. 2018, vol.34, n.4, pp.212-220. ISSN 0717-7348.


Chronic respiratory (CRD) diseases show high prevalence in developing countries, rural and deprived populations. Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) is a functional measurement obtained through forced expiratory used for clinical and research purposes. We described PEFR in a rural setting in an ongoing cohort study (Maule Cohort-MAUCO).

Material and Method:

Cross-sectional design in 3,465 adults (40-74 years) with PEFR ATS standard records (Mini-Wright flowmeter) using Gregg and Nunn values. PEFR ≤ 80% predicted were considered decreased. Sex, age, educational level, physical activity and tobacco smoking were obtained. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated based on anthropometrical measurements.

Main Results:

Sample had 63.9% of women; mean age of 55 (± 9) years, schooling of 9 (± 4) years. Overweight and obesity were 43.1% and 41.5%. Physical inactivity was 81.5% and 29.4% were current smokers. PEFR mean value was 330 (± 80) L/min (women) and 460 (± 119) L/min (men): Decreased PEFR was 50.6% ([48.9-52.3]) with significant differences by age, schooling, BMI and physical activity.


High prevalence of decreased PEFR was observed: PEFR showed variations according to sex, age, schooling, BMI and physical activity. As other Latin-American studies show, low values were also highly prevalent, suggesting that Gregg & Nunn overestimated PEFR values. These results suggests the convenience of studying local environmental factors.

Keywords : Cross-Sectional studies; peak expiratory flow rate; chronic diseases; health surveys.

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