Prevalence and characteristics of lung function changes in recreational scuba divers

Anne Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims: To investigate the hypothesis that a salt water SCUBA dive may cause bronchoconstriction in some individuals. Methods: 100 experienced recreational SCUBA divers acted as their own controls. Spirometry measures were taken with Easyone spirometers before and after a dive. Measures recorded included FEV1/FVC ratio and forced mid-expiratory flow (FEF25-75%). Results: 60 participants (68% male, 32% female) aged between 19-68 years (mean 47 years) produced data meeting ATS/ERS international standards. Of these, 23% exhibited pre-dive FEV1/FVC ratio values less than 75%. Statistics on paired samples of pre- and post-parameters showed a significant decrease in FVC post-dive but did not show significanct reductions in FEV1 or FEV1/FVC. Six (10%) were current smokers and 13 (21%) were former smokers. Conclusions: 25% of participants had reduced FEV1/FVC ratio regardless of undertaking a dive. Consideration of the clinical implications requires further investigation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-63
    Number of pages5
    JournalPrimary Care Respiratory Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


    • Airflow obstruction
    • Field study
    • Pulmonary disease
    • Scuba divers
    • Spirometry


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