open access

Vol 70, No 2 (2019)
HYPERBARIC/UNDERWATER MEDICINE Original papers
Published online: 2019-06-25
Submitted: 2019-02-21
Accepted: 2019-04-15
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Evolution of the respiratory function of professional divers over 15 years

Richard Pougnet, Laurence Pougnet, Anne Henckes, David Lucas, Jean-Dominique Dewitte, Philippe Mialon, Brice Loddé
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2019.0019
·
Pubmed: 31237672
·
International Maritime Health 2019;70(2):119-124.

open access

Vol 70, No 2 (2019)
HYPERBARIC/UNDERWATER MEDICINE Original papers
Published online: 2019-06-25
Submitted: 2019-02-21
Accepted: 2019-04-15

Abstract

Background: The study was aimed at assessing changes in respiratory function after 15 years of profes- sional diving, among scientific divers.

Materials and methods: A retrospective study was performed on divers who underwent an initial visit and a visit 15 years later at the same medical centre, among divers who had a scientific activity (monitoring the coastline, fauna and flora). Pulmonary function tests were performed in the same laboratory with the same operating standards and using a Jaeger MasterBody plethysmograph. Each subject acted as his or her own control. The data were analysed by Student’s t-test and Spearman’s correlation coefficient. 

Results: Twenty-six divers were included. Changes over 15 years included: a decrease in the forced expired volume in 1 second/functional vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) ratio (–6 for absolute value, p < 0.01; and –5% for theoretical value, p = 0.02); a decrease in forced expiratory flow (FEF)25% (–1.1 for absolute value, p < 0.01; and –21% for theoretical value, p < 0.01); a decrease in transfer factor for carbon monoxide (TLCO) (–0.7 for absolute value, p = 0.04); and an increase in vital capacity (VC) (+8% for theoretical value, p = 0.03). A significant correlation was found between the consumption of tobacco in packs per year (PY) and the variations in VC (r = 0.89; p < 0.01) and the variations in the theoretical FEV1 (r = 0.76; p = 0.03). There was a significant relationship between the number of dives and the variations in the percentage of the theoretical FEV1/FVC ratio (r = –0.42; p = 0.04). The same relationship was found for the average of dive duration (r = –0.59; p < 0.01) 

Conclusions: With increasing length of diving activities service, the pulmonary function displays a trend toward both a decrease in TLCO and a decrease in FEF25%. 

Abstract

Background: The study was aimed at assessing changes in respiratory function after 15 years of profes- sional diving, among scientific divers.

Materials and methods: A retrospective study was performed on divers who underwent an initial visit and a visit 15 years later at the same medical centre, among divers who had a scientific activity (monitoring the coastline, fauna and flora). Pulmonary function tests were performed in the same laboratory with the same operating standards and using a Jaeger MasterBody plethysmograph. Each subject acted as his or her own control. The data were analysed by Student’s t-test and Spearman’s correlation coefficient. 

Results: Twenty-six divers were included. Changes over 15 years included: a decrease in the forced expired volume in 1 second/functional vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) ratio (–6 for absolute value, p < 0.01; and –5% for theoretical value, p = 0.02); a decrease in forced expiratory flow (FEF)25% (–1.1 for absolute value, p < 0.01; and –21% for theoretical value, p < 0.01); a decrease in transfer factor for carbon monoxide (TLCO) (–0.7 for absolute value, p = 0.04); and an increase in vital capacity (VC) (+8% for theoretical value, p = 0.03). A significant correlation was found between the consumption of tobacco in packs per year (PY) and the variations in VC (r = 0.89; p < 0.01) and the variations in the theoretical FEV1 (r = 0.76; p = 0.03). There was a significant relationship between the number of dives and the variations in the percentage of the theoretical FEV1/FVC ratio (r = –0.42; p = 0.04). The same relationship was found for the average of dive duration (r = –0.59; p < 0.01) 

Conclusions: With increasing length of diving activities service, the pulmonary function displays a trend toward both a decrease in TLCO and a decrease in FEF25%. 

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Keywords

diving/physiology; pulmonary ventilation/physiology; occupational exposure; retrospective study

About this article
Title

Evolution of the respiratory function of professional divers over 15 years

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 70, No 2 (2019)

Pages

119-124

Published online

2019-06-25

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2019.0019

Pubmed

31237672

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2019;70(2):119-124.

Keywords

diving/physiology
pulmonary ventilation/physiology
occupational exposure
retrospective study

Authors

Richard Pougnet
Laurence Pougnet
Anne Henckes
David Lucas
Jean-Dominique Dewitte
Philippe Mialon
Brice Loddé

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