1. Forced expiratory volume in ml (FEV 1·0 ) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were measured in a random sample of older people (215 men, 272 women) aged 62 years and upwards. 2. Multiple regression equations were calculated to predict these variables by using age and height. In contrast with younger groups most of the variance was not explained by these equations. 3. The equations developed predict lower values for FEV 1·0 and FVC than other published series most of which contain relatively few older people.