The forces expiratory volume, total lung capacity, transfer factor (diffusing capacity), and their subdivisions have been measured in 113 healthy British women aged 27 to 74 years of whom 47 were current smokers and 66 were lifetime non-smokers. The results have been analysed in terms of age, stature, mass, body fat, and smoking. In addition to their relation to stature and to age, the inspiratory capacity was positively correlated with indices of body muscle while the residual volume, expiratory reserve volume, and total lung capacity were inversely correlated with the percentage of body mass that is fat or with mass divided by the square of stature. The inverse correlation between total lung capacity and age was apparently due to the quantity of body fat increasing with age. The transfer factor and its subdivisions were inversely correlated with smoking. In this study the forced expiratory volume and vital capacity were independent of both fat and smoking; the transfer factor was independent of the physiological response to exercise. The results provide reference values for lung function in British women.
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