Eating cured meats, such as bacon, salami and ham, could lead to lower lung function and COPD, say US researchers. The study, involving 7,352 individuals, found those who ate cured meats at least 14 times a month were twice as likely to have COPD as those who consumed no cured meat. They concluded that high levels of nitrites used in cured meats as preservatives could cause structural changes to the lungs (Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2007; 175: 798–804).
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