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Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Apr 1;171(7):776-84. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp455. Epub 2010 Feb 19.

Prospective study of dietary fiber and risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among US women and men.

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INSERM, U780-IFR69, Villejuif, France.


Little is known about the relation between dietary fiber intake and the incidence of respiratory diseases, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The authors investigated this issue among 111,580 US women and men (Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study), with 832 cases of newly diagnosed COPD being reported between 1984 and 2000. The cumulative average intake of total fiber and of fiber from specific sources (cereal, fruit, and vegetables) was calculated from food frequency questionnaires and a food composition database and divided into quintiles. After adjustment for 11 factors (age, sex, smoking, energy intake, body mass index, US region, physician visits, physical activity, diabetes, and intakes of omega-3 and cured meat), total dietary fiber intake was negatively associated with risk of newly diagnosed COPD (for highest vs. lowest intake, relative risk = 0.67, 95% confidence interval: 0.50, 0.90; P(trend) = 0.03). For specific fiber sources (cereal, fruit, and vegetables), only cereal fiber was significantly associated with newly diagnosed COPD independently of other fiber sources (for highest vs. lowest intake, relative risk = 0.77, 95% confidence interval: 0.59, 0.99; P(trend) = 0.04). These data suggest that a diet high in fiber, and possibly specifically cereal fiber, may reduce risk of developing COPD.

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