Healthy diet linked with lower risk of COPD

A summary of research published in ERJ Open Research

Eating a healthy diet has been linked with a lower risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a new study.

The role that diet plays in the development of the disease is not fully understood. This study aimed to review the existing evidence to help us understand more about eating patterns and the risk of COPD.  

What did the study look at?

This was a systematic review. This means that the researchers gathered findings from previous studies on the topic to provide a summary of existing evidence.

The study included 8 different research studies looking at diet and COPD conducted between 1 January 1980 and 30 November 2019. They looked at studies that included a variety of dietary patterns, both healthy and unhealthy. The healthy diets typically included fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods and foods low in saturated and total fat. The unhealthy diets typically included processed meat, pre-packaged foods, sweets and high-fat dairy products.

What do the results show?

When looking at the evidence, the researchers found that eating a healthy diet was linked with a lower risk of COPD. The evidence was not clear about whether eating an unhealthy diet was linked with a higher risk of COPD.

Why is this important?

This summary of the existing evidence has found a link between healthier eating and a lower risk of developing COPD. This is useful as it suggests diet is a key area to look at to reduce a person’s chance of developing COPD.  

The aim of this study was to provide an overall picture of the current evidence in this area. The exact way that diet affects the development of COPD is not known. The authors state that further studies are needed to understand the effect of both healthy and unhealthy diets on the risk of COPD.

Read the original research paper

Title: Relationship between dietary patterns and COPD: a systematic review and meta-analysis