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Mediterranean Diet Associated with Lower Risk of COPD

Among men, diet including fish, vegetables and whole grains considerably lowers COPD risk

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Men in the United States who eat a Mediterranean-type diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains have a lower risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than men who eat a Western diet rich in refined grains, red meats and desserts, according to a report published online May 15 in Thorax.

Raphaelle Varraso, Ph.D., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data on dietary patterns and COPD in 42,917 men (aged 40 to 75 years) from 1986 to 1998. Men were classified as eating a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, or a Western diet rich in refined grains, cured and red meats, desserts and French fries.

The researchers found that 111 men reported a diagnosis of COPD during this period. After adjusting for various risk factors, men who ate a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of COPD (relative risk, 0.50 for the highest versus lowest quintile) while men who ate a Western diet had a higher risk of COPD (relative risk, 4.56 for highest versus lowest quintile).

"In men, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish may reduce the risk of COPD whereas a diet rich in refined grains, cured and red meats, and desserts and French fries may increase the risk of COPD," Varraso and colleagues conclude.

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