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Diet may help protect against COPD

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A Mediterranean diet halves the chances of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), reveals a large study.

A Mediterranean diet halves the chances of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), reveals a large study.

Researchers tracked the health of almost 43,000 men, who were already part of a large US study that began in 1986. Between 1986 and 1998, the authors said 111 cases of COPD were newly diagnosed.

The Mediterranean diet - rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and fish - was associated with a 50% lower relative risk of developing COPD than a diet rich in processed foods, refined sugars, and cured and red meats.

The relationship remained after adjusting for other lifestyle factors such as smoking and exercise.

Thorax (2007) www.thorax.bmj.com

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