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Peak Expiratory Flow Rate of Pregnant Women in Port Harcourt

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Human Physiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA
  • 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State, NIGERIA

Int. Res. J. Medical Sci., Volume 2, Issue (6), Pages 1-5, June,28 (2014)


Peak expiratory flow rate represents a simple, non-invasive and cheap method of assessment of lung function especially in Africa where medical facilities are meager. There is paucity of data regarding the peak expiratory flow rate of pregnant women in Africa. The present study is aimed at studying the effects of pregnancy and gestational age on Peak expiratory flow rate. The study was carried out at the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State and Comprehensive Health Centre Rumuigbo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State from January through July, 2013. A total of 1000 female subjects, without any recent history of respiratory disease were recruited for the study. This comprised of 500 pregnant females (study group) and 500 non pregnant females as control. The Peak expiratory flow rate was determined using the Wright’s peak flow meter. Peak expiratory flow rate was found to be significantly lower among the pregnant females compared to the control (p0.05). PEFR was also significantly decreased with increased gestational age (p0.05, r=-0.78). This study draws attention to the possible effect of the gravid uterus on the pulmonary function of a pregnant woman.


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