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Large waist size is a risk factors for COPD

Written by | 29 Jul 2014 | All Medical News

by Bruce Sylvester – Researchers report that obesity, notably belly fat, is a risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The findings were published on July 7, 2014 in CMAJ/Canadian Medical Association Journal.

They evaluated data on 113,279 subjects, ages 50-70, for the relationship between waist and hip circumference, body mass index (BMI) physical activity levels and new cases of COPD.

None of the subjects had COPD, cancer or heart disease at baseline of the study. During a10-year follow-up, COPD appeared in 3,648 subjects.

Notably, large waist circumference (110 cm or more in women and 118 cm or more in men)  associated with a 72% increased risk of developing COPD.

“We observed a stronger positive relation with abdominal body fat than with total body fat and COPD,” said Gundula Behrens, Ph.D, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany. “In particular, overweight as measured by BMI emerged as a significant predictor of increased risk of COPD only among those with a large waist circumference.”

A large waist was a predictor of COPD in both smokers and non-smokers.

Subjects with a large hip circumference and who were physically active at least 5 times a week were 29% less likely to experience COPD. Underweight subjects had a 56% increased risk of developing COPD.

“Our findings suggest that next to smoking cessation and the prevention of smoking initiation, meeting guidelines for body weight, body shape and physical activity level may represent important individual and public health opportunities to decrease the risk of COPD. Physicians should encourage their patients to adhere to these guidelines as a means of preventing chronic diseases in general and possibly COPD in particular,” the authors concluded.

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