Low arterial oxyhaemoglobin saturation is associated with diastolic dysfunction in the general population. Lene Gjelseth Dalbak‘s PhD research looks at pulse oximetry as a diagnostic test in primary care.


  1. In patients with COPD or asthma, low arterial oxyhaemoglobin saturation is associated with coronary heart disease.
  2. In the general population, decreased pulse oximetry values are linked to reduced diastolic heart function.


Thesis:  Diagnostic tests for lung and heart diseases in primary care – from quality assurance to epidemiology
Candidate: Lene Gjelseth Dalbak
Time: November 2, 2018 at 14:15
Place: UiT The Arctic University of Norway, MH-Vest: Auditorium Cortex
Link to university website (in Norwegian)


(3) Pulse oxymetry can detect diastolic dysfunction. Arterial oxyhaemoglobin saturation values below 95 % were independently linked to 60 % increased odds of having abnormal mitral Doppler flow consistent with impaired left ventricular filling. The study includes 1782 participants above 50 years of age from the population-based Tromsø Study.

(2) Pulse oximetry values below 95 % were linked to reduced lung function and coronary artery disease in stable patients with COPD or asthma. 372 patients above 40 years of age at seven Norwegian general practices were included in the study.

(1) The last study shows that spirometry could be useful for identifying overuse of inhaled glucocorticosteroids in patients with COPD and asthma.


(1) Dalbak, L. G., Rognstad, S., Melbye, H., & Straand, J. (2013). Changed terms for drug payment influenced GPs’ diagnoses and prescribing practice for inhaled corticosteroidsThe European journal of general practice19(2), 106-110.

(2) Dalbak, L. G., Straand, J., & Melbye, H. (2015). Should pulse oximetry be included in GPs’ assessment of patients with obstructive lung disease?Scandinavian journal of primary health care33(4), 305-310.

(3) Dalbak, L. G., Schirmer, H., Straand, J., Mdala, I., Solberg, O. G., & Melbye, H. (2018). Impaired left ventricular filling is associated with decreased pulse oximetry valuesScandinavian Cardiovascular Journal, 1-7.

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