Processed meat intake may increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the magnitude of this association may depend on smoking and unhealthy diet. Our aims were to determine whether processed meat intake increased the risk of COPD among middle-aged women, and to estimate the combined impact of high processed meat intake, smoking and unhealthy diet on the risk of COPD.
Analyses included 87,032 registered nurses from the Nurses’ Health Study II (baseline mean age 36.8 years). Over 2,296,894 person-years (1991–2017), we documented 634 incident cases of COPD. Cumulative average of processed meat intake (every 4 years) was divided into never/almost never, <1 or ≥ 1 servings/week. A score was created to study the impact of 3-risk lifestyle factors.