Researchers find that frequent consumption of cured meats put men at risk for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), according to a September 4 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The study led by Raphaëlle Varraso, MD, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, stated that cured meats such as cold cuts, bacon and hot dogs are high in nitrites, which generate reactive nitrogen species that may cause damage to the lung.

Researchers identified 111 self-reported cases of newly diagnosed COPD among 42,915 men between 1986 and 1998. Average cured-meat consumption in the group was calculated from questionnaires divided into five categories of increasing consumption level ranging from “almost never” to “once a day.”

After adjustment for age, smoking status, race, region, body mass index, and other factors, the consumption of cured meats was positively associated with the risk of newly diagnosed COPD.

In contrast to these findings, the consumption of cured meats was not associated with the risk of adult-onset asthma.

To read the full abstract, click here.