Smoking is the main trigger of 80-90% chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD ) cases in the US. For the other 10-20%, it is considered subjection to air contamination, passive smoking and genetic aspects are involved. But in a new research reported in The BMJ, investigators recommend an unhealthy diet could be a contributing aspect.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) relates to a group of problems – like as chronic bronchitis and emphysema – that lead to airway obstruction and respiration issues.
Symptoms consist of shortness of breath while in daily activities, regular respiratory infections, wheezing, too much mucus production, long-term cough, blueness in the lips or fingernails
COPD is approximated to impact about 12.6 million adults aged 18 and above in the US. It was accountable for 134,676 deaths in the US in 2010, making it the 3rd major cause of death in the nation.
While smoking is identified to be the primary cause of COPD, the research authors – from France and the US – say small study has viewed at what other changeable risk aspects play a role. “Diet is one such aspect,” they note. “Potential data on the connection between diet and the danger of COPD remain scarce, in comparison with the substantial literature on cardiovascular illnesses or cancer.”
With this thought, the team evaluated the results of diet on the possibility of COPD among 73,228 females who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study from 1984 to 2000, and 47,026 males who had taken part in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study from 1986 to 1998.
COPD risk decreased by around 33% with a healthy diet
At the starting of each research, all individuals were needed to finish a food frequency and a health survey, which disclosed details on weight, physical exercise, smoking, medical record and other risk aspects.
Follow-up surveys – which also collected details on any recently diagnosed medical problems – were completed every 2 years afterwards.
The investigators applied the Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010) to evaluate the individuals’ diet quality. A greater AHEI-2010 score shows a healthy diet with a great consumption of veggies, whole grains, polyunsaturated fats, nuts and omega-3 fatty acids, a lower consumption of red and processed meats, refined grains and sweet drinks, and moderate alcohol intake.
Throughout the follow-up of both studies, there were 167 new conditions of COPD identified in men and 723 new cases identified in women.
The investigators identified that individuals with the highest AHEI-2010 scores were a third less probably to develop COPD, in comparison with individuals with the lowest scores, indicating a healthy diet may decrease the threat of developing COPD.
These outcomes remained even after the team accounted for individuals’ body mass index (BMI), smoking status, ethnicity, age and other possibly influential aspects.
Leaving comments on their results, the authors say:
“A great AHEI-2010 dietary score was connected with a reduced risk of newly identified COPD, a novel finding that supports the significance of diet in the pathogenesis of COPD.
Even though initiatives to avoid COPD should keep on to concentrate on smoking cessation, these possible results support the significance of a healthy diet in multi-interventional programs to avoid COPD.”
They add that physicians should take into consideration the role an person’s diet may play in lung health. They hypothesize that anti-oxidants in a healthy diet may be behind the defensive effect towards COPD.
“As the lungs exist in a high oxygen atmosphere, it is affordable to posit that specific exposures (and local inflammation) can additionally raise the burden of oxidants,” they observe. “The balance between these possibly toxic substances and the safety actions of antioxidant defenses, which includes those produced from diet, may perform a role in the loss of lung functionality eventually and the eventual development of COPD.”
The team notices that the research is subject to some restrictions. For instance, they observe that individuals in the study were all health professionals. As such, they say the results may not be suitable to the general people because of possible differences experienced in health awareness, socioeconomic status and smoking behavior.
In add-on, they note that the greater part of individuals were non-Hispanic white, which may restrict the application of their results to other racial/ethnic communities.