Pulmonary function of herdsmen. Academic Article uri icon


  • To determine whether the pulmonary function deficit documented previously in Fulani children is also present in adult Fulani herdsmen in northern Nigeria.The subjects for this study consisted of adult Fulani men from the hamlet of Magama Gumau and adult non-Fulani men from the city of Jos. Age, height, weight, mid-arm circumference (MAC), triceps skin-fold thickness, forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced expiratory flow during the middle half of the FVC maneuver (FEF25-75%), and peak expiratory flow rate (PEF) were measured. Body mass index (BMI) and FEV1/FVC were calculated for all subjects. Multiple regression analysis was performed to identify correlations between pulmonary function parameters and anthropometric variables.The 44 Fulani subjects and 28 urban subjects were well-matched for age and height. The Fulani men weighed significantly less than the urban men (58.5+/-9.4 versus 67.4+/-11.3 kg, p <0.001) and consequently had significantly lower BMI, MAC, and triceps skin-fold thickness. The only significant difference in pulmonary function parameters between the two groups was in FEV1/FVC (0.93+/-0.1 versus 0.85+/-0.1, p <0.001). Small but significant correlations were found between pulmonary function parameters and anthropometric variables for both study populations.The pulmonary function deficits documented previously in Fulani children and adolescents were not present in adult Fulani men. However, the observed elevation in FEV1/FVC in the rural Fulani men as compared to their urban counterparts, which is often seen in restrictive pulmonary patterns, deserves further study.

publication date

  • January 1, 2004