The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2006 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Influence of Self reported Socioeconomic Status on Lung Function of Adult Nigerians

*Adedoyin RA PhD (Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria) Erhabor GE, MBBS, Department of Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria  Akanmun O, BMR, PT (Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria).

Background: Factor such as socioeconomic (SES) status is known to be associated with reduced lung function in childhood and early adulthood. Poor lung function however is associated with an increase risk of cardiovascular disease.  The lung function of people in the developing nations is known to be lower than that of their counterparts in the developed nations. It has not been proved whether Low socio-economic status that is prevalent in developing countries is associated with lung function. This study is therefore designed to assess the association between the socioeconomic status and lung function among adult Nigerians. It is not presently known whether childhood socioeconomic status has relationship with lung function among adult in Nigeria.

Methods: The subjects consisted of 1,930 healthy adults with age range of 40-73 years. The forced vital capacity (FVC), Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were measured with the aid of spirometer and peak expiratory flow meter respectively. Three trials were allowed and the highest score was recorded for the analysis.  The socioeconomic status was assessed using a standardized questionnaire that had been found valid and reliable. The questionnaire gave equal importance to education, occupation and family income. Based on the score, the subjects were classified to either lower, middle or higher socioeconomic class.         

Results: Results showed that the three groups are comparable in physical characteristics (height, weight) and also in age. One way analysis of variance revealed a significant difference in the FVC across the three groups (P<0.05). Similar result was got for PEFR. Post hoc (LSD) showed that the subjects in highest SES have significant higher FVC, and FEFR than the other two groups. No significant difference was found in the FVC and in PEFR in middle and low SES subjects. Multiple-regression analysis showed a strong relationship of SES with FVC (r= 0. 56) and PEFR (r=0.73).

Conclusion: Self reported low socioeconomic status is associated with poor lung function among adult Nigerians. The people of low socioeconomic factors may be susceptible to respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

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