The number one factor for C.O.P.D, is cigarette smoking . But up to one-third of C.O.P.D patients have never smoked, suggesting that other factors could be involved.
A study was published online Feb. 3 in the B.M.J.
The finding builds on a wide body of prior research suggesting that a healthy diet lowers the risk for heart disease and good eating habits seem to lower C.O.P.D risk for both smokers and nonsmokers alike, the researchers found. C.O.P.D, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an umbrella term for sever. Routine breathing can be difficult and painful for someone with C.O.P.D -- the third leading cause of death in America, according to the American Lung Association.
To explore the impact of diet on C.O.P.D risk, the investigators focused on the health and eating habits of more than 73,000 women who participated in the U.S. Nurses' Health Study between 1984 and 2000. They also looked at the nutrition profiles of over 47,000 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study between 1986 and 1998.
Most of the participants worked as health professionals.
By the end of each study's time frame, 723 women and 167 men developed C.O..PD. The subsequent analysis indicated that C.O.P.D risk was far lower among those whose diets were light on red meat, sweetened drinks and alcohol, and rich in vegetables, complex carbohydrates such as green vegetables and whole grains, polyunsaturated fats and nuts.
Polyunsaturated fats include soybean, safflower, corn and canola oils, and fish such as salmon, trout and herring.
The finding that a healthy diet was independently related to lower C.O.P.D risk appeared to hold up even after accounting for other factors, including smoking history, age, race, exercise habits and being overweight .Nevertheless, concluding that diet could have a direct impact on C.O.P.D. The best C.O.P.D prevention efforts should continue to focus on smoking cessation.
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