Chronic adaptations of lung function in breath-hold diving fishermen
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Department of Rehabilitation, Federal University of Piauí, Parnaíba, Brazil
Department of Rehabilitation, Saint Edwiges Hospital, Parnaíba, Brazil
Department of Medicine, Saint Edwiges Hospital, Parnaíba, Brazil
Department of Rehabilitation, Federal University of Piauí, Av. São Sebastião, 2819, Reis Velloso, CEP: 64.202-020, Parnaíba, PI, Brasil
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2014;27(2):216–223
Objectives: The aim of this study was to verify and analyze the existence of chronic adaptations of lung function in freediving fishermen whose occupation is artisanal fishing. Material and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving 11 breath-hold diving fishermen and 10 non-breath-hold diving fishermen (control) from the village of Bitupitá in the municipality of Barroquinha (Ceará - Brazil). Anthropometric measurements, chest and abdominal circumferences as well as spirometric and respiratory muscle strength tests were conducted according to the specifications of the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society (ATS/ERS). In order to compare the measured values versus the predicted values, Student t test was used in the case of parametric test and Wilcoxon test in the case of nonparametric test. To compare the inter-group means Student t test was used for parametric test and Mann-Whitney test for the nonparametric one. The level of significance was set at α = 5%. Results: The forced vital capacity (FVC) (4.9±0.6 l vs. 4.3±0.4 l) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) (4.0±0.5 l vs. 3.6±0.3 l) were, respectively, higher in the group of divers compared to the control group (p ≤ 0.05). Furthermore, in the group of free divers, the measured FVC, FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratios were significantly greater than the predicted ones. No differences were found between the measured respiratory pressures. Conclusions: These results indicate that breath-hold diving seems to produce chronic adaptations of the respiratory system, resulting in elevated lung volumes with no airway obstruction.