Preliminary research findings from researchers at Columbia University Medical Center suggest that people who eat cured meats on a regular basis are at an increased risk of developing symptoms of lung disease.rnrnCured meats are treated with nitrites to slow rancidity, stabilize flavour and contribute to the colour of the meat.rnrnThe symptoms of lung disease observed in the study were characteristic of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which mainly affects smokers, although roughly 10 percent of people with COPD have never smoked Ã¯Â¿Â½ suggesting factors beyond smoking may play a role in the development of this condition. rnrnResearchers used data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) of over 7500 subjects over the age of 44. After analyzing the food frequency questionnaires and adjusting for age, sex and smoking habits, researchers found that subjects who consumed cured meats at least once in two days (14 times a month or more) were 71 percent more likely to have symptoms of COPD.rnrnWhile these findings suggest a link between nitrites and the development of COPD, researchers warn the findings are preliminary and further research is needed before any solid dietary recommendations can be made.rn
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