Symptoms and changes in pulmonary function of subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and elderly normal subjects, induced by a 4-h exposure to 0.3 ppm NO2, were investigated using a double-blind, crossover design with purified air. The 5-day experimental protocol required approximately 2 wk with at least a 5-day separation between randomized 4-h exposures to either NO2 or air which included several periods of exercise. Over a 2-yr period, COPD subjects, all with a history of smoking, consisting of 13 men and 7 women (mean age of 60.0 yr) and 20 elderly normal subjects of comparable age and sex were evaluated. During intermittent light exercise, COPD subjects demonstrated progressive decrements in FVC and FEV1 compared with baseline with 0.3 ppm NO2, but not with air. Differences in percent changes from baseline data (air-NO2) showed an equivocal reduction in FVC by repeated measures of analysis of variance and crossover t tests (p < 0.10). Subgroup analyses suggested that responsiveness to NO2 decreased with severity of COPD; in elderly normal subjects, NO2-induced reduction in FEV1 was greater among smokers than never-smokers. A comparison of COPD and elderly normal subjects also revealed distinctions in NO2-induced responsiveness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine