Study on peak expiratory flow rate in school children from Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, India

Thangavel A., Vairamuthu G. S.


Background: Data on peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) for Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, India, school children is not available. Hence, this study aims to construct predicted equations for PEFR in both sexes in the age group of 5 - 12 years according to the height as a reference.

Methods: About 961 healthy children (493 boys and 468 girls) were randomly selected from six schools of Madurai district. PEFR readings were repeated thrice and the  highest value of these 3 readings was taken as the observed PEFR. Linear regression analysis was performed using age, weight, height and body surface area (BSA) as independent variables and PEFR as the dependent variable.

Results: Statistical correlation is found between height, age, BSA, weight and PEFR in both sexes. The variables which show significant positive relationship with PEFR are height (r=0.78), age (r=0.74), BSA (r=0.73), weight(r=0.67) of which height shows the most significant correlation. The regression equation for PEFR with height is: boys: PEFR =3.12 x (height)-211.85, girls: PEFR = 3.07 x (height)- 212.3.

Conclusions: BSA needs further formula-based calculation and age may be falsely given in the school records or may be forgotten by uneducated parents. Weight is having less correlation coefficient compared to other parameters. So, this study recommends deriving predicted equation for PEFR based on height for both genders. The prediction equations for PEFR obtained in this study can be used as local reference for the follow up of children with respiratory disorders in and around Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, India.


Body surface area, Height, Peak expiratory flow rate, Weight

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