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Reference percentiles of FEV1 for the Canadian cystic fibrosis population: comparisons across time and countries


Background Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) indicates lung health in cystic fibrosis (CF). FEV1 is commonly communicated as a per cent predicted of a healthy individual sharing the same age, sex, race and height. CF-specific reference equations are complementary and calibrate a patient’s FEV1 to that of their CF peers.

Objectives (1) To derive Canadian CF-specific FEV1 reference percentiles (FEV1%iles), (2) characterize how they have changed over time and (3) compare the Canadian FEV1%iles to those for USA and European CF populations.

Method CF FEV1%iles are calculated using the Canadian CF Registry and quantile regression.

Results The Canadian FEV1%iles demonstrated better lung function in more recent time periods within Canada, especially below the 50% percentile and in males. When compared to USA and European FEV1%iles for the same time period, Canadian FEV1%iles were higher.

Conclusion CF-specific FEV1%iles can provide useful information about changes in lung health. An online calculator (available at makes these FEV1%iles accessible.

  • cystic fibrosis
  • respiratory measurement

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