PulmoAge - Lung Capacity Testing
Many patients who suffer from asthma or emphysema take “breathing tests” to assess the current state of their conditions. In most cases, unless you have a lung-related health issue, you will never take a breathing test, known as spirometry.
Many anti-aging as well as pulmonary specialists believe that patients should take the test, as spirometry is considered an effective biomarker for aging. Not only can it help screen for early lung disease, it can also measure the real lung age of people who are otherwise healthy. In order to determine whether a person’s spirometry result is a cause for concern, we have a large database of “normal” results adjusted for height, gender, ethnicity, and age, against which we compare your test results.
A spirometry test can be completed in ten minutes. Taking a very deep breath, the patient blows out the air as quickly as possible in the first second, using an airflow meter (pneumotach). He or she continues to blow for at least five seconds to completely empty his lungs. The results are calculated by a computer attached to the pneumaotach - the total amount of air expelled in the first second and the total amount expelled during the full exhalation. These measurements are known as the forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) and the forced vital capacity (FVC). The patient repeats the test until he or she achieves three consistent measures.
Once a person reaches the age of twenty five, FEV1 and FVC measurements begin to decline. The FEV1, which is the better marker of the two, declines about at the rate of one to two percents each year as shown in the diagram below. The decline will vary from person to person, depending on factors such as smoking, cardiovascular exercise, genetics and overall lifestyle. Spirometry measurements are an excellent biomarker of age and overall mortality.