High fiber intake cuts COPD risk by 30% over 10 years

  • Szmidt MK & al.
  • Eur J Nutr
  • 06.07.2019

  • von Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • High (vs low) dietary fiber intake during a 10-year period is associated with a 30% lower risk for COPD, according to a prospective cohort of 35,339 Swedish women.

Why this matters

  • This study, combined with positive evidence from 2 prior prospective studies, suggests that dietary fiber is a modifiable protective factor for COPD.
  • Clinicians should consider advising current and ex-smokers to increase their dietary fiber intake.

Study design

  • Population-based prospective cohort of 35,339 Swedish women studied since 1987, of whom 1557 developed COPD by 2002-2014.
  • Intake was assessed during a 10-year period (1987 and 1997) by food frequency questionnaire; results were divided into quintiles.
    • Highest intake: ≥26.5 g/day.
    • Lowest intake:
  • Funding: Swedish Research Council/Infrastructure; Karolinska Institute.

Key results

  • High intake (vs lowest) was associated with a 30% lower risk for COPD in multivariable adjusted analysis (HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.59-0.83), with benefits extending to subgroups:
    • Cereal fiber (highest at ≥16.3 g/day vs lowest at
    • Fruit fiber (highest at ≥7.6 g/day vs lowest at
  • Current and ex-smokers with lowest intake (vs never smokers with highest intake) had higher COPD risk (HR, 33.2 [95% CI, 23.6-46.6] and HR, 10.7 [95% CI, 7.0-16.3], respectively).

Limitations

  • Observational design.