Survivorship data from a 24 year longitudinal study of 874 male volunteers in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging were used to assess the role of pulmonary function on total mortality. Even when age and smoking were considered, the ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 sec to its predicted value was significantly associated with mortality from all causes. Individuals with poorer pulmonary function showed greater mortality during the follow-up period of this study. This relationship was also seen among never smokers in this sample, further supporting the hypothesis that impaired pulmonary function is itself a predictor of total mortality and may contribute to a number of disease processes.
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