New research linked higher total omega-3 intake with fewer severe COPD exacerbations and a trend toward higher lung function.

An adverse association was observed between omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake and morbidity from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the results of a cross-sectional analysis published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Recognizing that the PUFAs have been able to modulate the inflammatory response and potentially affect respiratory outcomes, investigators sought to explore the relationship between omega-3 PUFA (ie, alpha linoleic acid [ALA], eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA], and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) and omega-6 PUFA (ie, linoleic acid [LA] and arachidonic acid [AA]) intake. The researchers took into account the opposing fatty acid and respiratory morbidity in former smokers with moderate to severe COPD.