BACKGROUND--The population of Israel consists of immigrants from many different countries. It is not known whether a single nomogram can be used for spirometric values of children of different ethnic descent. METHODS--Spirometry was performed in 753 second or third generation Israeli children (7-14 years) of different ethnic groups. Both parents of 503 of the children were of the same ethnic background. Subjects were allocated to six ethnic groups (European, Iraqi, North African, Indian, Yemenite, and Georgian). RESULTS--Standing height contributed most to the prediction of spirometric values (forced expiratory volume in one second, forced vital capacity), whereas sitting height did not contribute further. Statistical analysis showed significant ethnic differences. The Georgians had higher spirometric values for FEV1 than all the other ethnic groups, and higher FVC values than those of the Yemenite, North African, and Indian groups. FVC was lower among the Indian than all other groups. CONCLUSION--Differences in normal spirometric values were found among second or third generation Israeli children of different ethnic origins. European, North African, Iraqi, and Yemenite children could be characterised by single equation, whereas children of Georgian and Indian descent needed different predicting equations.
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