New research suggests an integrative approach to the treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may yield health and economic cost benefits.
A team of scientists from the Department of Respiratory Medicine at the Maxima Medical Centre, divided patients with mild to moderate COPD into two groups, one of which received usual care and the other underwent an interdisciplinary, community-based program (INTERCOM), according to Medical News Today.
The program offered an intensive lifestyle moderation phase of four months, during which patients were instructed to perform two 15-minute intervals of walking or cycling, and offered instruction in lifestyle changes such as proper nutrition and smoking cessation.
The source says after the introductory period, there was a 20-month maintenance period after which the researchers found that those who participated in the INTERCOM program showed significant improvements in health status, exercise capacity and dyspnea, compared to those who did not.
Another study, published earlier this year, also found that COPD patients may benefit from a diet rich in antioxidant vitamins A, C and E as well as the adequate intake for omega-3 fatty acids, all of which can be obtained from nutritional supplements.