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Forced Expiratory Volume and Forced Vital Capacity - Topic Overview

Forced expiratory volume (FEV) measures how much air a person can exhale during a forced breath. The amount of air exhaled may be measured during the first (FEV1), second (FEV2), and/or third seconds (FEV3) of the forced breath.

Forced vital capacity (FVC) is the total amount of air exhaled during the FEV test.

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Outdoor Pollution and Lung Function Effects

In 1996, the city of Atlanta took dramatic steps to improve the city's air quality for the summer Olympics. In the process, it showed how reducing air pollution can improve lung function. What city officials did -- switching to rapid transit and buses that ran on natural gas instead of diesel -- decreased asthma attacks by up to 44% in children and ozone concentrations by 28%, the CDC reported in a study in 2001 in The Journal of the American Medical Association. "It seemed easier to breathe,"...

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Forced expiratory volume and forced vital capacity are lung function tests that are measured during spirometry. Forced expiratory volume is the most important measurement of lung function. It is used to:

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Last Updated: November 28, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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