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Background: The ‘Orang Asli’ or the aboriginal people of peninsular Malaysia have high morbidity, mortality and poverty rates and they lag very far behind in basic infrastructure, literacy and education. Information on peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) among Orang Asli is extremely limited and there has only been one such study which was carried out in 1971.
Aims & Objectives: To determine the lung function of a community of Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia and to determine their association with various socio-demographic and anthropometric factors with their lung function. Methods: PEFR was measured using the Wright Peak Flow meter and the best of the three readings taken was used. A total of 119 respondents participated in the study.
Results: A total of 79 respondents (66.9%) reached 80% of their predicted PEFR value while 39 (33.1%) fell below 80% of their predicted PEFR value. Results showed a significant association in PEFR between genders (p=<0.001), height (p=0.004), exposure to noxious particles (p=0.023) and level of education (p=0.014). Linear regression showed that the PEFR increased with increasing height (p=0.004) and was higher in men (p=<0.001), those not exposed to noxious particles (p=0.023) and those with a higher education level (p=0.014). Conclusion: Orang Asli who are tall, male, with higher levels of education and not exposed to noxious particles have better lung function.
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Author(s): Hui Jean Yap Wooi Wooi Khaw Patmapriya Ramasamy Siti Nurayu Muhammad Idris Baitil Aizah Mohd Sibi Daniel Ngu Leong Hoe Loh LiCher Abdul RashidKhan B Md Jagar Din
Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), Orang Asli, Malaysia