Measuring respiratory health in longitudinal social science surveys

Edith Chen*, Wei Jun Jean Yeung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectively assessing respiratory health in longitudinal social science surveys would involve collecting pulmonary function measures on research participants, either in clinic settings or at home. These measures include indicators of volume (e.g., maximal amount of air blown in the first second of a forced exhalation) and air flow (maximal speed air is exhaled during a forced exhalation). Equipment options include office spirometry, portable spirometry, or home peak flow monitoring. Each option has different equipment and personnel costs. The types of research questions that could be answered using pulmonary function measures in longitudinal household surveys are quite broad, ranging from effects of socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity on respiratory health to social/environmental factors that contribute to respiratory health to the long-term social and economic consequences of respiratory health problems. Currently, such data are lacking. Given the potential payoffs in scientific knowledge, adding these measures to population-based surveys merits serious consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-218
Number of pages13
JournalBiodemography and Social Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics


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