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J Occup Health year 1997 volume 39 number 2 page 95 - 99
Classification Original
Title Diver's Lung Function: Influence of Smoking Habit
Author Shinya Suzuki
Organization Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Undersea Medical Center
Keywords Diving, Lung function, Smoking habit, Diffusing capacity, Fitness to dive
Correspondence
Abstract Diver's Lung Function: Influence of Smoking Habit: Shinya Suzuki. Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Undersea Medical Center-To assess the influence of smoking habit on divers' lung function, we measured static lung volumes, dynamic lung volumes and flows and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLco) on 71 healthy, male, JMSDF active-duty uniformed divers (46 smokers and 25 nonsmokers). All measurements were conducted with an automated system (CHESTAC-25V model; Chest Ltd., Tokyo, Japan). Comparison of lung functions between smokers and nonsmokers was assessed using a Mann-Whitney rank-sum test. Vital capacity in smokers was 120.4 plusmn 11.3 (mean plusmn SD)% of the predicted value for age and height, and in nonsmokers was 119.9 plusmn 15.1%. In the static lung volumes there were no differences between smokers and nonsmokers. Although the forced vital capacity (FVC), the forced expired volume in the 1st second (FEV1.0), and the forced expiratory flow rate at 75% of FVC expired (V75) showed no difference between two groups, the peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) in smokers was lower than that in nonsmokers (p<0.005). The forced expiratory flow rate at 25% of FVC expired (V25) showed no difference, while the DLco in smokers was worse than in nonsmokers (p<0.01). Lung Volumes of the divers in JMSDF were larger than predicted values in the general population. Judging from the ratio of the residual volume to total lung capacity, emphysematous change with aging was negative. PEFR, FEV1.0 and V75 depend on the ventilatory muscle strength and diameter of the large respiratory tract. To investigate the reason why only PEFR was lower in smokers than nonsmokers in this population, more data should be collected. The finding of no difference in V25 between the two groups could not indicate that smokers had emphysematous change compared to nonsmokers. The decrease in DLco with age in smokers compared to nonsmokers, however, suggested the possibility of emphysema. Considering that emphysema is a contraindication for diving, a diver should not smoke.