open access

Vol 65, No 4 (2014)
HYPERBARIC MEDICINE Review articles
Published online: 2014-12-17
Submitted: 2014-12-17
Accepted: 2014-12-17
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Longitudinal change in professional divers’ lung function: literature review

Richard Pougnet, Laurence Pougnet, David Lucas, Marie Uguen, Anne Henckes, Jean-Dominique Dewitte, Brice Loddé
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2014.0042
·
International Maritime Health 2014;65(4):223-229.

open access

Vol 65, No 4 (2014)
HYPERBARIC MEDICINE Review articles
Published online: 2014-12-17
Submitted: 2014-12-17
Accepted: 2014-12-17

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to assess changes in lung function of professional divers.

Materials and Methods: This is a review of the literature. Only studies about professional divers were included. All published studies between 01.01.1984 and 07.01.2014 were systematically searched. The search was performed in Medline and Embase databases and in the “Medicina Maritima” journal. The results of pulmonary function tests were extracted from each study.

Results: Fifteen articles were found. Four studies showed a significant decrease in forced vital capacity (FVC). Five studies demonstrated a significant decrease in forced expiratory flows (FEF) at 75% and 50% of FVC expired (FEF75% and FEF50%) after 3 years of diving. Seven studies demonstrated a significant decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) after 3 years of diving. But only 2 studies did an age-standardisation so that only 1 study demonstrated a significant decrease in FEV1 after age-standardisation. Three articles showed a decrease in transfer factor for carbon monoxide (TLCO) after 5 years. Dives parameters (like depth, number by year) were not always related to variations on the different lung variables.

Conclusions: This literature review showed a decrease in TLCO, FEF75% and FEF25–75%. One wonders whether these variations are due to the age or to diving. The results of such a long-term study would be interesting and might help to guide fundamental research.

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to assess changes in lung function of professional divers.

Materials and Methods: This is a review of the literature. Only studies about professional divers were included. All published studies between 01.01.1984 and 07.01.2014 were systematically searched. The search was performed in Medline and Embase databases and in the “Medicina Maritima” journal. The results of pulmonary function tests were extracted from each study.

Results: Fifteen articles were found. Four studies showed a significant decrease in forced vital capacity (FVC). Five studies demonstrated a significant decrease in forced expiratory flows (FEF) at 75% and 50% of FVC expired (FEF75% and FEF50%) after 3 years of diving. Seven studies demonstrated a significant decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) after 3 years of diving. But only 2 studies did an age-standardisation so that only 1 study demonstrated a significant decrease in FEV1 after age-standardisation. Three articles showed a decrease in transfer factor for carbon monoxide (TLCO) after 5 years. Dives parameters (like depth, number by year) were not always related to variations on the different lung variables.

Conclusions: This literature review showed a decrease in TLCO, FEF75% and FEF25–75%. One wonders whether these variations are due to the age or to diving. The results of such a long-term study would be interesting and might help to guide fundamental research.

Get Citation

Keywords

diving, respiratory function tests, occupational medicine

About this article
Title

Longitudinal change in professional divers’ lung function: literature review

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 65, No 4 (2014)

Pages

223-229

Published online

2014-12-17

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2014.0042

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2014;65(4):223-229.

Keywords

diving
respiratory function tests
occupational medicine

Authors

Richard Pougnet
Laurence Pougnet
David Lucas
Marie Uguen
Anne Henckes
Jean-Dominique Dewitte
Brice Loddé

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