In view of the frequent association of dyspnea with obesity on the one hand, and the close relationship of dyspnea with vital capacity on the other hand, it seemed of interest to learn the values of the vital capacity in obese individuals. However, with the exception of a casual mention by Myers1 of the relation of age and obesity to the vital capacity of the lungs nothing was found in available literature.
Hutchinson,2 in 1846, first studied the vital capacity of normal persons using the spirometer of which he was the inventor. He found that the vital capacity varied more closely with the height than any other body measurements. Until recent years the procedure has not been extensively applied to clinical medicine, but now, because of amplification and refinement of the original work of Hutchinson, it is conceded to be of some importance in diseases affecting the chest organs. Peabody