Big belly? You’re at increased risk of developing COPD, study says

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

YARMOUTH, Maine – Obesity, especially excessive belly fat, is a risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), according to an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. A team of researchers in Germany and the United States looked at the relationship of waist and hip circumference, body mass index (BMI) and physical activity levels to new cases of COPD in a large group of men and women in the U.S. They looked at data on 113,279 people between the ages of 50 and 70 who did not have COPD, cancer or heart disease at the beginning of the study. During the 10-year follow-up period, 3,648 people developed COPD. People with large waist circumferences (110 cm or more in women and 118 cm or more in men) had a 72% increased risk of 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,” researchers say.