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Abstract

Annual measurements of lung volumes and forced expiratory flows were made in 281 boys and girls from 8 to 12 years and in another cohort of 287 from 12 to 20 years to measure longitudinal lung growth. Gender differences in growth of lung function were documented, with girls generating greater volume-standardized maximal expiratory flows until age 18.5 years. Beyond that age boys generated higher expiratory flows in proportion to total lung capacity (TLC). There was a time lag of up to 1 year between the age of peak growth velocity in lung volume and peak growth velocity in height. Age at peak growth in flow lagged another year behind that in volume. This was noted more in boys than girls. Dysanaptic lung growth was found with differing rates of growth of maximal expiratory flow compared with TLC or vital capacity (VC). © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.