Pulmonology Pulmonology
Pulmonol 2018;24:219-23 - Vol. 24 Num.4 DOI: 10.1016/j.rppnen.2017.09.006
Brief Communication
Comparison of lung diffusing capacity in young elite athletes and their counterparts
B. Lazovica,f,, , M. Zlatkovic-Svendab,f, J. Grbovicc, B. Milenkovićc,f, S. Sipetic-Grujicicd,f, I. Kopitovice, V. Zugicc,f
a University Clinical Hospital Center “Zemun”, Pulmonology Unit, Serbia
b Institute of Rheumatology, School of Medicine, Belgrade, Serbia
c Clinic for Lung Disease, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
d Institute of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Serbia
e The Institute for Pulmonary Diseases of Vojvodina, Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia
f University of Belgrade School of Medicine, Belgrade, Serbia
Received 25 April 2017, Accepted 28 September 2017

The influence of exercise on the pulmonary function is controverse, some studies have reported no sports influence, while the others have found positive correlation.


To evaluate and compare the sports influence on pulmonary function: spirometry (VC, FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC), lung diffusing capacity (DLCO) and coefficient of the CO gas transfer (KCO) in two elite athletes groups and healthy sedentary controls.


Equally divided into aerobic and anaerobic group, 60 elite athletes were recruited, as well as 43 age-matched, healthy sedentary controls. All of the participants performed basic anthropometric measurements, spirometry, DLCO and KCO at rest. Kruskal–Wallis one way ANOVA test was used to determine differences between groups; Mann–Whitney U test was used for inter-groups differences and Pearson coefficient for pulmonary variables and anthropometric parameters correlation. Statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS computer statistic program, version 20.


No differences were found in pulmonary characteristics (spirometric function values, DLCO and KCO) in athletes and non-athletes at rest, as well as between aerobics and anaerobics. There were no correlations between the anthropometric parameters and the investigated respiratory function tests. DLCO (%) correlated positively with height in athletes playing anaerobic type of sport (karate and taekwondo) (p=0.036; r=0.544), and negatively in sedentary control group (p=0.030; r=−0.560). Regarding KCO, no differences were found.


Spirometry indices and DLCO are not influenced either by aerobic or anaerobic training type, so benefits of sports on pulmonary indices or DLCO was not confirmed.

Athletes, Diffusing capacity, Transfer coefficient
Pulmonol 2018;24:219-23 - Vol. 24 Num.4 DOI: 10.1016/j.rppnen.2017.09.006
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