Diet and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

2014-08-27 03:57:19 | BioPortfolio


To examine the relationship of specific dietary factors to risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.



Although tobacco smoking is the major environmental risk factor for COPD, only a minority of smokers develops this condition, and it appears that genetic and other environmental factors are important in determining risk. There has been growing interest in the hypothesis that dietary factors modify COPD risk, possibly by protecting against oxidant injury. Available data addressing this hypothesis have a variety of methodological limitations that preclude any firm conclusions. The study was the first to address this hypothesis using data from the Nurses' Health Study, a large, prospective cohort study with detailed dietary assessments and a follow-up interval of sufficient duration to examine incident COPD.


The study examined the relationship between dietary factors and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among participants in the Nurses' Health Study, an ongoing prospective cohort study of 121,700 women, ages 39-64 in 1985. This cohort had been followed by means of biennial questionnaires which inquired about a variety of topics, including dietary intake (using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire) and physician diagnosis of COPD. In 1998, all participants with a history of COPD were sent a supplementary questionnaire regarding specifics of COPD diagnosis and related topics. The study examined the relation of dietary factors to risk of newly-diagnosed COPD during 1985-1998. During this time period, there were approximately 2,100 cases of "confirmed" COPD (i.e., physician diagnosis and pulmonary function tests [PFTs] at time of diagnosis or abnormal FEV-I in past year) and "probable" COPD (i.e., physician diagnosis and recent respiratory symptoms, but PFTs not known). Preliminary data supported the validity of these case definitions, and this was examined further by reviewing 600 medical records. Likewise, potential under-diagnosis was examined in a random sample of past and current smokers who had never reported COPD or asthma. The specific dietary hypotheses were that high intakes of antioxidants (e.g., vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids), magnesium, potassium, and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g., fish oils) decreased risk of COPD, whereas high intakes of specific fatty acids (e.g., linoieic acid) increased risk. The cohort size and 13-year follow-up provided >90 percent power to detect a trend across quintiles of dietary intake. In 1998, among approximately 2,400 prevalent cases with diet data, study investigators addressed a secondary aim: to determine the relation of dietary factors to COPD severity during 1998-2000. COPD severity was assessed by self-report of current medications, recent symptoms, activity limitations, and health care utilization (e.g., emergency room or urgent office visits for COPD exacerbations). The rising prevalence of COPD, particularly among women, along with its high societal cost, makes COPD prevention an important public health goal.

Study Design

Observational Model: Natural History


Lung Diseases, Obstructive




National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:57:19-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Any disorder marked by obstruction of conducting airways of the lung. AIRWAY OBSTRUCTION may be acute, chronic, intermittent, or persistent.

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Pathological processes involving any part of the LUNG.

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