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Could routine spirometry suggest sensitisation in the military medicine setting?

Abstract

Introduction Providing evidence of sensitisation is the formal requirement for allergy diagnosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether spirometry may be able to predict sensitisation in a representative cohort of Italian Navy military personnel.

Methods 2043 (1875 men, 168 women, mean age 28.35±11.6 years) Italian Navy military personnel were enrolled into this study. Spirometry and skin prick testing were performed to predict sensitisation.

Results Sensitisation, assessed by skin prick test, was documented in 658 (32.2%) subjects. Impaired forced expiratory flow at the 25% and 75% of the pulmonary volume (FEF25–75) as demonstrated on spirometry was detected in 82 subjects, of whom 69 were sensitised (P<0.0001). Impaired FEF25–75 was significantly associated with sensitisation (OR 7.43; 95% CI 4.04 to 14.66; P<0.0001).

Discussion The findings of this study suggest that impaired FEF25–75 may predict sensitisation in this cohort of Italian Navy personnel. This outcome is relevant in the military medical setting, as it could allow early identification of subjects with subclinical asthma.

  • spirometry
  • sensitisation
  • fef25-75
  • italian navy
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