‘Healthy diet’ linked to lower risk of chronic lung disease, study
Eating a diet rich in whole grains, polyunsaturated fats and nuts – and low in red and processed meat, refined grains and sugary drinks – is associated with a lower risk of chronic lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD), according to researchers from France and the US.
The researchers said their findings, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) supports the importance of a healthy diet to promote lung health.
COPD is an umbrella term for chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema and bronchitis, which block the airways and restrict oxygen flow around the body. It is currently ranked the third leading cause of death worldwide.
The predominant risk factor for COPD in the developed world is cigarette smoking, but up to one third of COPD patients have never smoked, suggesting that other factors are involved.
A healthy diet has been consistently linked with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, but the role of diet in risk of COPD is unknown.
The team of researchers based in France and the US set out to investigate the association between the Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010) – a measure of diet quality based on current scientific knowledge – and the risk of COPD.
They analysed data for more than 120,000 US men and women taking part in the Nurses’ Health Study from 1984 to 2000 and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study from 1986 to 1998.
Participants completed regular questionnaires on dietary intake, and those who reported a diagnosis of emphysema or chronic bronchitis between 1984 and 2000 were also assessed for COPD.
The AHEI-2010 diet score is based on 11 components, with a higher score reflecting high intakes of vegetables, whole grains, polyunsaturated fats, nuts, and long chain omega-3 fats – moderate intake of alcohol – and low intakes of red and processed meats, refined grains, and sugar sweetened drinks.
Over the study period, 723 cases of newly diagnosed COPD occurred in women and 167 in men.
A third less likely to develop COPD
After adjusting for 12 factors such as age, physical activity, body mass index, smoking and ethnicity, the risk of newly diagnosed COPD was one third lower in participants who ate the healthiest AHEI-2010 diet compared with those who ate the least healthy diet. The findings were similar in ex-smokers and current smokers – and in both women and men.
By contrast, the AHEI-2010 diet score was completely unrelated to incident asthma.
“This is a novel finding that supports the importance of diet in the pathogenesis of COPD,” the researchers said. “Although efforts to prevent COPD should continue to focus on smoking cessation, these prospective findings support the importance of a healthy diet in multi-interventional programs to prevent COPD,” they said.
“Our results encourage clinicians to consider the potential role of the combined effect of foods in a healthy diet in promoting lung health,” the researchers said.
A new study has discovered the Mediterranean diet with its characteristic “healthy fat” and olive oi...
A group of scientists are warning that bananas could become a delicacy within ten years unless a sol...
Well-known Australian fruit distributor, Montague, is set to pack its first box of nectarines for Ch...
American supermarket expert, Phil Lempert, has predicted that “2017 promises to be one of the most e...
Germany’s Kaulfland supermarket chain has confirmed it is considering entering into Australia and is...
A pair of US professors in food science and nutrition have warned consumers may not realise the poss...
Australian wine exports increased by 15 per cent to $2.56 billion in the 12 months ended December 20...
A central NSW mustard seed oil has won a medal at specialty food competition in New York.