Thirty healthy men representing three widely different age groups (25, 50, and 75 years) were studied with respect to general respiratory function and speech breathing. Subdivisions of the lung volume were found to differ with age and most markedly so for measures of vital capacity and residual volume. Speech breathing also was found to differ with age and was characterized by differences in lung volume excursion, rib cage volume initiation, number of syllables per breath group, and lung volume expended per syllable. Age-related differences in general respiratory function and speech breathing are discussed in relation to possible underlying mechanisms. In addition, implications are drawn regarding the evaluation and management of individuals with speech breathing disorders.
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