People who consume low carbohydrate diet less likely to get COPD: Study

Published On 2021-09-09 03:45 GMT   |   Update On 2021-09-09 03:45 GMT

Tehran, Iran: A recent study has found an inverse association between adherence to a low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) and risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The association remained significant even after considering other potential confounders, including dietary intakes and socioeconomic characteristics. The study appeared in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

COPD is an inflammatory lung disease characterized by progressive airflow limitation, the main symptom of which is daily cough and mucus production. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the world.


The most significant risk factor for COPD is active and passive exposure to tobacco smoke. In addition to air pollution, age, genetics, occupational pollutants, and several nutritional factors have also been investigated in association with COPD. Consumption of high-fat low-carbohydrate diets, less than <130 grams of carbohydrate per day is shown to be associated with easier breathing in CPD patients. 


In epidemiologic studies, consumption of LDC was shown to be inversely associated with cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. However, the link between adherence to a low carbohydrate diet in usual life and the risk of COPD was not investigated. To throw light on the same, Hanieh Malmir, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, and colleagues aimed to investigate the relationship between adherence to LCD and COPD in Iranian adults in a hospital-based case-control study. 


The study enrolled 84 newly-diagnosed COPD patients and 252 age and sex-matched healthy controls in Alzahra University Hospital, Isfahan, Iran. COPD was defined based on findings of spirometry test (forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) < 70% or FEV1 < 80%). Using the validated Block-format 168-item FFQ, dietary intakes of study participants were assessed. Data on potential confounders were obtained using a pre-tested questionnaire. 


Based on the study, the researchers found the following:

  • Adherence to LCD was inversely associated with odds of COPD. This inverse association did not alter after controlling for age, sex, and energy intake.
  • Adjustments for other potential confounders, including dietary intakes, smoking, and educational status did not affect these findings; such that those in the highest quintile of LCD scores were 64% less likely to have COPD than those in the lowest quintile.

The researchers conclude, "our findings suggested an inverse association between consumption of LCD diet and odds of COPD, even after taking potential confounders into account, in a group of adult individuals. However, further studies are required to confirm these findings."


The study titled, "Adherence to Low Carbohydrate Diet in Relation to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease," is published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.


Article Source : Frontiers in Nutrition

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