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Article
June 1941

VITAL CAPACITY OF THE LUNGS IN MIDDLE AGE: RESULTS OF PERIODIC EXAMINATIONS OF MEN OF SEDENTARY OCCUPATION

Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Medicine in the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Medicine; Chief of Medical Service B, Hospital of the Protestant Episcopal Church PHILADELPHIA

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1941;67(6):1129-1131. doi:10.1001/archinte.1941.00200060032004
Abstract

The vital capacity of the lungs is the amount of air which can be exhaled after the deepest possible inspiration.1 Obviously, any disease which encroaches on the parenchyma of the lungs (pneumonia, congestive heart failure, etc.) or which interferes with the normal movements of the bones or muscles involved in respiration (immobility of the ribs, paralysis of the phrenic nerve, etc.) or which prevents the free movement of air in the respiratory passages (bronchogenic carcinoma, asthma, etc.) will diminish the vital capacty. That these conditions, as well as numerous others, actually do diminish the vital capacity has long been recognized, and the test of vital capacity would no doubt be a widely used diagnostic office procedure today if the patient could only tell the examiner as much about his vital capacity as he can about his weight. Most patients know what they weighed a year ago and how their

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